Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
We only know this: The marvelous playoff series between the Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins will come to an end Monday night.
And suddenly, it may not be just about winning the game, and this hard-fought series with the Bruins, it’s about the possibilities that go beyond this Game 7. As premature as it may be explore what might have seemed impossible 14 days ago.
There is a Game 7, one win left to advance, one roll of the dice, one more night for complete effort, intelligence, great goaltending, the elements that add up to playoff success.
For the first time in the post-season, the Leafs have won a home game. For the first time in the playoffs, the Leafs have beaten the Bruins twice in a row. And now the challenge: A third win in a row. They still need three wins in four games at the TD Garden to advance to Round 2.
But everything is tilting in their direction.
All the momentum - if there is such a thing at playoff time - favours the Leafs.
If you missed the news last night, the Bruins were forced to spned last night in Toronto due to mechanical issues with the team plane. They are scheduled to leave Toronto at 9:00am ET this morning.
Toronto beats Boston 2-1 tonight to force a Game 7 in Boston tomorrow at 7:00pm ET.
Along with the New York Rangers against the Washington Capitals at 8:00pm ET, it should be quite the night for hockey.
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
The Maple Leafs’ mission in these playoffs is to boldly go where no Leafs team has gone before ... or at least not for the last nine years.
And, yes, with apologizes to William Shatner.
You would think heading into Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins, the Leafs would be brimming with confidence over the prospect of playing back at the Air Canada Centre.
But so far in this series, for whatever reason, home ice has been, well, a disadvantage.
Of the five games played in this series, four have been won by the visiting team — the past four. For their part, the Leafs have yet to win at home, losing both at the ACC and winning two in Boston.
James Reimer on Patrice Bergeron...
Or Jimmy Howard on Teemu Selanne...
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
After his overtime gaffe, in which his ill-advised pinch paved the way for David Krejci's game-winner to put the Bruins ahead three games to one in the series, Phaneuf has found himself in hostile ground with Maple Leafs fans.
His latest mistake simply magnified the fact that, in his eighth year, this hard-hitting, smooth-skating defenceman continues to make the same mistakes he did as a raw rookie with the Calgary Flames in 2005.
The 28-year-old Phaneuf has one more season left on his $6.5-million-per-year contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis will have to make a decision on Phaneuf in the next several weeks because a lot of the blockbusters these days are made at the NHL draft.
If the Bruins eliminate the Maple Leafs in the next few days, Nonis should take a few days to let the emotions of the playoff run subside before deciding what to do with Phaneuf. He doesn't want to make the same mistake that the Canucks did with goalie Roberto Luongo a year ago. That storyline developed into quite a mess this season.
more on the Leafs...
Phaneuf addresses the media and discusses his decision to "jump" a play in the Leafs' offensive zone, allowing the Bruins a 2-1 break and the OT goal by Krejci.
If you missed the play by Phaneuf, watch it below...
Boston wins 4-3 and now up 3-1 in the series over Toronto.
He did not return to the game.
update 10:55pm, looking at the video more closely, it could be the nose area too.
Reports are Fraser is at the hospital checking for any bone damage.
By Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
Through three games, the Bruins have shown flashes of brilliance, proving themselves to be astonishingly brutal in protecting their own net from oncoming traffic--be it both pucks and bodies--and vicious in their ability to turn the slightest Maple Leaf error into a turnover and a Boston goal.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Tyler Bozak says the Boston Bruins are cheating.
He is, too. But the Bruins are cheating better. And that’s a big reason why the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Monday to take a 2-games-to-1 lead in their best-of-7 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference quarter-final.
“They’re the best team in the league at them (faceoffs),” said Bozak. “They’ve got the best guy in the league. (Patrice) Bergeron. It’s going to be hard to beat guys like that.
“Thought maybe they were cheating a little bit. So I tried to cheat. Your timing can be off by half a second. You’re going to have an off night. You’re not going to get away with mistakes in the circle with off-timing with the guys they have.
“I cheat, too. We all cheat. They were just cheating better.”
Bozak was tossed from the circle a number of times. The fans got on the linesmen continually. The parade out of the circle didn’t stop.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org