BOSTON – Like the Bruins have done all season, Boston demoralized the Maple Leafs as they beat down Toronto 8-0 to clean sweep the season series.
Any momentum James Reimer and the Maple Leafs appeared to gain over the past two games vanished quicker than any small increment of hope they may have had of making a run at the post-season after a pair of back-to-back victories.
The Leafs fell apart just 2:25 into the game. Luke Schenn was unsuccessful in a clearing attempt. The puck would find Chris Kelly who would dance around a diving Reimer allowing the left side of the goal completely wide open.
3:15 later, Reimer would lose sight of the puck, allowing unlikely goal scorer Gregory Campbell to make it a 2-0 game.
A deflection would lead to Benoit Pouliot’s 11th of the season, and the rout was officially on.
3-0 Boston Bruins and at this point the Leafs had failed to record a single shot on goal.
Jay Rosehill would take a roughing penalty shortly afterwards which sparked a fight between Luke Schenn and Campbell. The Bruins would score on the power play to make it a 4-0 Boston Lead. James Reimer pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots.
“We have to find a way to be better prepared and be a better hockey team,” said Reimer. “I’ve honestly never seen anything like that before. I’m not quite sure why one team seems to have such an advantage.
The Bruins took all 12 points in the season series. The Maple Leafs weren’t able to garner a measly point by way of overtime or shootout loss during the season against Boston. The Bruins outscored the Maple Leafs 36-8.
“We can’t really point to any one thing right now that we did well” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “As a coaching staff we have to take some responsibility by not having the team ready to compete.”
Not sure what else Carlyle could have done. He’d been working the team pretty hard since he took over. Perhaps he’ll give the team more rest for what has been the end of a grueling five-game road trip.
The one thing the team may have done well, was try to spark some momentum by starting some fights. Mike Komisarek bravely tested the waters as he tangled with Milan Lucic and took a few uppercuts for it.
“At that point your down a couple of goals and we don’t have any shots on net. Schenny steps up and tries to show up and I’m not gonna wait for Grabo to go out and fight their tough guy” said Komisarek. “You go out there and you just try to show up, give a couple licks and take a couple of licks and step up I guess.”
Jonas Gustavsson didn’t fair much better in relief of Reimer. He paid the price in the second period when he skated behind the net mishandling the puck, allowing Brian Rolston to find Pouliot for his second goal of the game. Zdeno Chara scored on the power-play to make it a half-dozen lead. Brian Rolston capped the second period with the team’s seventh goal.
The Bruins had seven goals after 40 minutes. The Leafs had seven…shots. That’s right. The Bruins goals and Leafs shot total was identical at seven.
Tyler Seguin would cap the scoring late in the third period. It wouldn’t have been a Bruins/Leafs regular season game if not for Seguin to add insult to injury. Seguin had points in five of the six games against the Leafs totallying seven goals and four assists for 11 points.
“It was just a poor effort by everybody,” said Clark MacArthur.
“It’s just not acceptable to not be ready to start games” captain Dion Phaneuf echoed.
The Leafs played as poor as they have all season (and there have been some poor showings) and their 13 shots on goal, is the lowest they have registered in a single game since Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Flyers. In that game they fell to Philadelphia 7-2. For a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs since that time, it’s an eerie reminder.