Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/01/13 at 11:45 AM ET
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
While the Leafs were stumbling a bit and making their fans nervous, the Bruins made theirs forget all about that 17-3-3 start that had the pundits looking for a great Eastern Conference playoff showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In their last 10 games, the Bruins won just three times.
Even better for the Leafs, ace defenceman Zdeno Chara, who is personally responsible for Kessel’s futility, played more like Zeppo Marx in those final days.
But that’s where the hope ends. Man-for-man and unit-for-unit, the Leafs simply do not match up well against the Bruins.
The best is Reimer, whose 19-8-5 record, 2.46 goals-against average and .924 save percentage are almost as good as Rask’s numbers (19-10-5, 2.00, .932). Reimer has no NHL playoff experience and Rask’s last playoff appearance was in 2010, as Tim Thomas played every game in 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
Kessel’s 52 points as the Leafs’ leading offensive player looks a lot better than the 36 points Brad Marchand had to top the Bruins list. But the Bruins can score by committee, something the Leafs only do intermittently.
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