Down Goes Brown: Leafs looking to show Bruins they belong

Welcome back to the Saturday Storylines, and welcome to the post-season. We’re back for another week or two, since we’ll have enough on the plate each Saturday to keep the storylines coming through the opening round. We’ve got four Game 2s today, three of which feature the home team trying to take a 2-0 series lead. We’ll start our tour around the league in Boston.

HNIC Game of the Night: Maple Leafs at Bruins

Well, here’s the good news for the Maple Leafs: Tonight will probably go better than Thursday did.

Here’s the bad news: It had better.

Game 1 didn’t bring much in the way of positives for Toronto fans hoping to see their team win its first round since 2004. On paper, the matchup with Boston looked tough but winnable. On the ice, the Bruins looked like the better team for just about the entire night. They dominated possession, got the better of the matchups, and had the more effective special teams. The Bruins also got better goaltending, were more disciplined, and even won the coaching battle, with the Leafs failing to challenge what sure looked like an offside on the Bruins’ first goal.

Other than all that, it went fine for Toronto.

In fairness, the 5-1 final score may have been slightly more lopsided than the Leafs deserved – the game was tied until late in the second, and the Leafs were still vaguely in it until Nazem Kadri‘s third-period major for boarding Tommy Wingels. As far as opening-game disasters go, this wasn’t the Flyers losing 7-0 to the Penguins. Not quite.

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