Relax, Leafs fans – it’s just game one.
Sure, we got absolutely dominated (and embarrassed) in Boston on Wednesday, but it’s nothing to fret about. It’s what we needed.
We needed a wake up call, a stomping to teach our young, playoff inexperienced team that the post-season is a different animal.
If you didn’t notice, the best Leafs player out there was JVR – who happens to have the most playoff experience on the team.
Now with the jitters out, we can regroup for game two on Saturday. And, if we lose that game, too, same mantra goes – don’t fret.
This is a playoffs series, a best-of-seven, that isn’t over until one team wins four!In the playoffs, home ice advantage is huge. Just wait until we get Boston back to Toronto.
Leafs fans outside the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday were so enthusiastic you would have thought the boys were just inside the arena.
Once the Leafs have that support behind them, once Carlyle can get Kessel (who only played about 14 minutes, with one shot) away from Chara, things will be different.
Whether we come back to Toronto down 2-0, or tied 1-1, we’re still in good shape...
If it’s the former, then we take our two home games and tie it up. If it’s the latter, then we have a chance to take a strangle-hold on the series.
There’s no reason to be concerned after our poor performance on Wednesday. Yes, we allowed 40 shots on Reimer – but that’s nothing new for us.
We’ve allowed that number of shots against all year, and hopefully we change that in game two, but if we don’t, we can still win – we just need to score and support Reimer, who stops nearly everything.
A few lineup changes – say, put in O’Byrne who has some playoff experience in place of Kostka, who does not and was a -3 on the night – and a tongue-lashing from Carlyle will turn things around.
Our coach will be sure to regroup our youngsters, remind them that they’ve now experienced what the NHL playoffs are all about, and get us ready to actually compete on Saturday – to actually score some goals!
Being absolutely embarrassed…nothing forces a team more to come out better next time around. We’ll do just that, I’m sure.
We started the game strong, taking a 1-0 lead with JVR’s goal…then, we fell apart as the veteran Bruins woke up. That won’t happen next time.
Next time, we’ll keep up the pressure we showed early on and all the Leafs will play like JVR, whose goal is below…Amazing shot of Leafs fans outside the ACC is inside the post...