Some nights, it just doesn’t take all that much. Some nights, you don’t even need a whole team to get the job done.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, playing in front of one of the loudest crowds in the history of Toronto sports (that’s usually the dullest place on earth) were beaten 5-2 by the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
In essence, the Leafs lost to a single line. The trio of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton finished the night with two goals and six assists. The line has now combined for 17 points in the first three playoff games this spring. They have five goals and 12 assists against the Leafs already.
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, behind the bench for the first playoff game in Toronto since 2004, said his team made more mistakes than the Bruins and that was the difference in the game. I won’t disagree with Carlyle, but I will say this, “if Randy could find a way to shut down the Lucic-Krejci-Horton line, mistakes wouldn’t be an issue.”
Meanwhile, Damien Brunner was the overtime hero as Detroit beat Anaheim 3-2 to even that series at 2-2 while Derek Stepan scored at 13:35 of the third period to give the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals.
The most interesting player in that game was Derick Brassard. Another kid from Hull, Que., (remember Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Senators on Sunday night?) was the game’s first star. He had a goal, two assists, two shots, five hits and got almost 17 minutes of ice time.
Brassard was one of the guys the Rangers got from Columbus in the trade that sent Marian Gaborik to the Blue Jackets. It could be said that Brassard has done a lot more for the Rangers than Gaborik did for Columbus. All hail the trade deadline.