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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Offense Grinds To Halt In Toronto

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Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night as they attempt to get out from under the Mitchell Miller fallout.

GOLD STAR: The Maple Leafs scored two goals in a 2-1 victory over the Bruins and Auston Matthews scored both of the goals to push Toronto to the victory. Both goals were on plays where Matthews buried chances right around the net, including the second one where a PK coverage breakdown left Toronto’s 60-goal scorer all alone in front where he isn’t going to miss. Matthews now has five goals in his last five games and is getting hot for a Toronto team that finally seems to be waking up out of their season-long slumber.

Certainly, Matthews performance made Maple Leafs super fan Steve Dangle pretty happy.

BLACK EYE: Tomas Nosek continues to be snake-bitten offensively and he was part of a unit-wide breakdown in the second period that led to the game-winning goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs. William Nylander entered the zone with speed that put Boston’s entire PK unit on their heels and caused confusion with Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Carlo handing off the player at the front of the net. Instead, both defensemen vacated the net-front briefly and that allowed Auston Matthews a wide-open chance with Nosek also slow to recognize that he needed to help out in the slot area as well. Combine that with zero shots on net and a 3-for-6 performance in the faceoff circle, and there were too many negative or non-impact plays from the fourth line center on a night when somebody else needed to step up for Boston.

TURNING POINT: The second period wasn’t a great one for the Boston Bruins and it’s been an issue at points this season. This time around the Bruins were outshot by a 15-7 margin and gave the Maple Leafs a couple of power plays, including one that allowed the game-winning goal after Brad Marchand had tied things up on a penalty shot. The Bruins put on some urgency in the third period to try and push into OT at the end of a week-long road trip, but they came up a little short in a game where they managed just one goal after averaging over four goals per game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand was the real bright spot for the Boston Bruins with his penalty shot for his third goal of the season. It was a nifty little move for the goal, and it tied the game at the time. Marchand finished with three shot attempts and five registered hits for 18:21 of ice time on a night where there wasn’t a ton of offense generated by the Black and Gold. Instead, David Pastrnak had five of his shot attempts blocked and Patrice Bergeron was held without a shot on net in a rare quiet evening for the Boston Bruins captain.

BY THE NUMBERS: 800 – the number of career points for Brad Marchand after connecting on the forehand-to-backhand penalty shot in the second period that amounted to Boston’s only offense for the night.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was breakouts, we weren’t very clean and our puck decision through the neutral zone when we wanted to establish a forecheck, which we weren’t able to do. We’ll take two out of three in the three barns we went into on this trip, for sure.” –Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery to NESN after the Saturday night loss in Toronto.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Clickclack

face plant by the Bruins! Almost completely undoes everything they worked for to start the season by losing to the Laffs….but on another note, Bruce Cassidy’s team just took over sole possession of first place from the Bruins.

Kevin L

At the risk of being repetitive… Having been an exclusive B’s fan for nearly 6 decades I am confident in saying this team is going to have a tough “grind” this season. Regardless of sportswriters’ mastering of the obvious and extrapolating the latest success of the day — a very real topic is that this group has old and lingering injury issues. As usual, those will come to be a major issue down the road. I’ve been around too long to believe any coach can have such an instant impact as to be The Influence behind the current early winning… Read more »

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