Bear Essentials: Bruins-Leafs Takeaways
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TORONTO (CBS) – For the first time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs lived up to their record. After losing the first two match-ups of the season, the Leafs were clearly seeking vengeance. Fortunately, for the Boston Bruins, that vengeance came with a handful of mistakes. From a number of poor penalties to a shaky goaltender, Toronto wasn’t able to tame an unrelenting opponent in the Boston Bruins.
Although the Maple Leafs put forth a good effort, the story continues to be Boston. After the win tonight, the Black and Gold sit on top of their division, and rightfully so. After an atrocious 3-7 start to the season, the team has gone on to capture points in every single game in the month of November, a feat unconquered since 1969. Several aspects stand out from the Bruins victory over Toronto.
Besides an absolutely terrible 3rd goal allowed in the final period of the game, Tim Thomas continues to defy the odds. With a 12-4 record, a Vezina conversation is never too premature. The goalie has not allowed more than 3 goals in ANY of his games thus far. An impressive stop on a Phil Kessel breakaway in the first demonstrates the goalie’s ability to keep up with the best, and more importantly, do it when it matters most.
Furthermore, the Bruins top line of Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic had a breakout performance. With 3 goals and 4 assists, the trio dominated the night. More than anyone, David Krejci helped silence his critics. After 10 games without a goal and rumors of a potential trade, people were looking for the young Czech to step it up. With 1 goal and 2 assists, he did just that.
Another notable player was Zdeno Chara. The 6’9” captain scored yet another goal and now has 17 points on the season, putting him 6th overall in terms of points for a defenseman.
The Toronto game was ultimately a microcosm of the entire month of November. The Boston Bruins scored when they needed to, dominated when it mattered and showed an entire team effort worthy of a top seed in their division. Right now, there is little evidence of the Boston Bruins slowing down. With another stellar performance, December may prove to be just as successful.