BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins fell to the Toronto Maples Leafs 4-2 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Saturday, evening the series up at a game apiece.
The series shifts to Toronto on Monday night for Game 3, and the Bruins will have defenseman Andrew Ference back after his one-game suspension for a hit in Game 1. The Leafs delivered a questionable hit of their own on Saturday, with Dion Phaneuf throwing a shoulder into B’s forward Daniel Paille. The hit ended a little high, and Paille was hit in the face.
But the NHL has already said they would not review the play, and no suspension or fine will be handed down. CSNNE Hockey Insider Joe Haggerty joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday, and said he isn’t too surprised at the NHL’s decision not to take a closer look at the play.
“I’m not really surprised, because when I looked at the hit what I saw was a hit to the chest that then finished up high with an elbow or a shoulder to the head. They’re looking at the principal point of contact – the first place that gets hit,” said Haggerty. “I think it should have been a minor penalty like an elbowing or an illegal check to the head and the B’s should have been on the power play for two minutes. I think it’s a joke that in a game like that, an intense, physical game in the playoffs, they got (nine seconds) of power play time. It was neglectful for the refs not to call it on the ice, but I don’t think it rose to the level or suspension.”
Because of the Ference’s suspension, Bruins head coach Claude Julien split up the highly successful pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on the Bruins defense. The Leafs took advantage of that move, with Phil Kessel getting some solid minutes on the ice without having to worry about Chara’s imposing presence.
“I thought it was a bad move and part of the reason why they lost; I don’t like splitting those two in the playoffs,” said Haggerty. “I don’t think you run away from that just because one guy is missing from one game and you reconfigure everything because you’re so dead-set on left-hand, right-hand D-men playing on their comfortable side.”
“I think for one game you make due with a bottom pairing and maybe play someone a little out of position for 5-10 minutes to make sure Chara and Seidenberg can be together for 30 minutes,” Haggs continued. “When they were separated, Randy Carlyle did a great job coaching and getting his players out there against Boychuk and Seidenberg, really exploiting those two on the ice.”
Also, have the Bruins’ offensive woes returned? And what can we expect in Monday’s Game 3? Tune in to Joe Haggerty on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich: