Brian Jenkins/Icon SMI)
If the Boston Bruins winning of the Stanley Cup wasn’t enough salt in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ wounds, the final game of the season series surely was. The Maple Leafs wrapped up a five-game road trip on Monday with a monumental collapse against the Bruins.
"It was embarrassing," Mike Komisarek told TSN.ca. "What else can you say? It’s embarrassing. It’s unacceptable and it has to change."
Embarrassing may be putting it lightly.
The Bruins won 8-0, in which four of their eight goals were scored in the first 13-minutes of the game. It adds to an impressive seasonal series record for the Bruins, who have won all six games against the Maple Leafs this season – outscoring them by a lopsided 36-10 margin.
The collapse comes after the Maple Leafs had two impressive wins over the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning. The team had lost five straight prior to their two game winning streak.
“One mistake after another,” Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle told TSN.ca. “It seemed like we were playing in our boots and they were playing in their skates.”
Goaltending, which has recently been a strong point for the Maple Leafs club, was also at the forefront of the collapse early in the game. Goaltender James Reimer allowed four goals on his first nine shots.
The 24-year-old Reimer had allowed only two goals in his last two games heading into Monday, while Jonas Gustavsson had also been solid in his two previous starts turning aside 48 of 50 shots. Reimer is the lone goaltender signed through next season, while Gustavsson is a pending unrestricted free-agent this summer.
“Goaltending falls right in line with the rest of our team,” Carlyle said. “They didn’t play to the level that was required. Your goaltender has to give you a chance, but your team has to help your goaltender and give him a chance.”
While Carlyle questioned the effort level of his team, he also directed the blame towards himself; taking responsibility for the clubs lack of game preparation as a fault of the coaching staff.
"I’m the coach here now and the coaching staff is responsible to prepare the players," Carlyle said. "We have to look at the things that we did and the things that we can do (better), the changes that we can make and the things that we have to do to stimulate this group to play to a higher level than it did tonight."
The Maple Leafs will return home for the first time since March 10th as they play host to the New York Islanders tonight. The Maple Leafs currently hold a 3-0 series advantage over the Islanders this season.
Northeast Division Notes
Boston Bruins: Adding to their lead atop the Northeast Division, the Bruins sit at 87 points after Monday night’s win over the Maple Leafs. Tim Thomas has played in the clubs past 12 games. His shutout victory vs. Toronto gives him four in his career over the Maple Leafs. Brian Rolston tallied a goal and four assists. Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist which gives him 60 points in his breakout campaign. The 20-year-old forward has eight goals and five assists in 13 games vs. the Maple Leafs. Head coach Claude Julien coached his 400th game for the Bruins on Monday night.
Buffalo Sabres: Cody Hodgson recorded his first point as a Sabre on Monday night. He assisted on Jason Pominville’s power play goal at 15:50 of the first. Hodgson had gone 10 games without a point since being acquired at the NHL trade deadline. He finished the game with two assists. The combination of Marcus Foligno, Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford continued their great offensive play scoring a combined seven points on the night. Foligno has five goals in six career NHL games.
Montreal Canadiens: Mathieu Darche is nearing a return from injury. He’s been sidelined since February 21st with concussion-like symptoms. He still remains day-to-day. The Canadiens will return to action on Wednesday to play spoiler against the Sabres in Buffalo.
Ottawa Senators: Both Jason Spezza and Matt Gilroy were absent from Monday’s practice on personal leave. Craig Anderson continues to make progress in his recovery. There is no set timetable for his return, as he remains day-to-day. Ben Bishop is expected start his seventh game for the Senators tonight vs. the New Jersey Devils.
Toronto Maple Leafs: James Reimer allowed four goals on nine shots vs. the Bruins. He only played 12:42 before being replaced by Jonas Gustavsson. Gustavsson didn’t fare much better, allowing four goals on 15 shots. Phil Kessel had only scored once and is a -11 in six games vs. the Bruins this season. In 18 career games vs. his former club, the sniper has only three goals and six assists. The Maple Leafs only had 13 shots total in the game and the shutout marks the six time this season that the team has been blanked.