Boston Bruins just cannot beat Toronto’s Frederik Andersen…ever

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 10: Patrick Marleau
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 10: Patrick Marleau /
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On a cold November night, the Boston Bruins traveled north of the border to take on the division rival Toronto Maple Leafs.  How did things go for the Black and Gold?

Boy, was seeing Brad Marchand on the ice for the morning skate a sight for sore eyes.  The Boston Bruins forward had missed the previous two games due to an upper body ailment.  It’s a good thing his injury wasn’t more serious, because missing Brad Marchand long-term for this team would be devastating to the season.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 2: Brad Marchand /

On the first game of the back-to-back home-and-home series, the Bruins started their back-up Anton Khudobin.  The Maple Leafs took the opposite approach and started their number one goalie in Frederik Andersen.  The Bruins have already announced that Tuukka Rask will start tomorrow night, and I would imagine we’ll see Curtis McElhinney in net for the Leafs tomorrow.

1st period

The Bruins started this game very much like they’ve started all of their road games.  The team looked a bit inefficient with the puck, and let Toronto somewhat have their way.  Luckily for the Bruins, the Leafs weren’t able to make anything of it.

The Bruins play got stronger as the period went on.  Overall, by the end of the period, it was incredibly balanced.  Toronto had the lead in shots 10-8, but that was largely due to the Bruins slower start.  Khudobin stayed strong in net, and the defense stayed strong in front of him.  Both teams blocked 4 shots and both teams had 11 hits.  The only concern for the first period was Toronto dominating the faceoff circle.

The Bruins were forced to kill off a penalty when Zdeno Chara threw the puck over the glass for a delay of game call.  With the #1 penalty killing defenseman in the box, Brandon Carlo (a player I have expressed my doubts about in the past) stepped up big time, and killed nearly the entire two minutes.  After 20 minutes of back and forth play, the game was tied 0-0.

2nd period

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The 2nd period started as a continuation of the 1st.  The teams were back and forth down the ice, both teams have an occasional scoring chance, but nothing major.  Carlo committed a hooking violation around 5 minutes into the period.  Once again, the penalty killing unit held tough, and killed it off.

David Pastrnak had a great opportunity after using his speed to blow by a defenseman on his off-wing.  Andersen was able to stand in, and Pastrnak put the puck right in his emblem.  This was the best chance for either team through the first 30 minutes of the game.

Normally I hate to complain about officiating.  I mean, I do it regularly, but I hate doing it.  The missed call on Nazem Kadri high-sticking Carlo in the face, and Carlo then getting called for the same thing, is ridiculous.  Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I feel like Toronto usually gets the most benefit-of-the-doubt when it comes to things like that.  And where does the NHL have its video war room and a head office?  You catch my drift.

Boston Bruins
TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 10: Zdeno Chara /

The Bruins were able to break through 15:38 minutes into the period, when Patrice Bergeron one-timed home a pass from Brad Marchand after a great individual play along the wall.  Torey Krug picked up the secondary assist.  And for the record, he has been on fire recently, point-wise.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, the lead lasted only 4 or so minutes.  The Bruins took ANOTHER penalty near the end of the period.  On the power play, with 16 second left in the frame, James van Riemsdyk buried the puck passed Khudobin on a net-front scramble.  Those end of the period goals are just absolutely killers, and the Bruins always seem to fall victim to them.

The Bruins caught up slightly in shots, out-shooting the Leafs 15-14 in the period.  Just as the Leafs dominated the dot in the 1st period, the Bruins did the dominating in the 2nd.  But, with all that, we had a 1-1 game after two periods.

3rd period

The fast paced action continued in the 3rd period between the two teams.  Both Toronto and the Bruins found themselves on the penalty kill during the early-to-mid part of the period.  Chara was once again off the ice for 2 minutes after laying an open ice hit in the defensive zone that was called interference.  They always say your best penalty killer has to be your goalie.  In tonight’s game, that was 100% the case for the Bruins.

After a Josh Leivo hooking call on the returning Noel Acciari, the Bruins power play was able to do their damage late in the man advantage.  Pastrnak buried the puck behind Andersen, with the assists going to Jordan Szwarz and Anders Bjork.  Big props to those younger guys, because that goal was all about a hard forecheck and mucking in the dirty areas near the net.

The Leafs, in aggressive fashion, pulled the goalie with more than 2 minutes left.  The talented Toronto team was able to keep the puck in the net for a solid minute, wearing out the Bruins defense.  With the extra attacker, James van Riemsdyk sitting on the doorstep was able to deflect the puck past Khudobin, tying the game at 2 with a minute left.  And with that, we had bonus hockey.

Extra Hockey

The Bruins started out overtime with Marchand-Bergeron-Krug on the ice, and the puck stayed in the Leafs zone the entire time.  Despite having a few good chances, nothing came of them.  And that was unfortunate.

After a near turnover by the Leafs in their own zone, Pastrnak found himself behind the play, leaving a 3-on-2 for the Leafs.  Veteran Patrick Marleau took full advantage after receiving the puck from Mitch Marner.  Marleau was able to take advantage of the confusion, and put the puck past a sliding Anton Khudobin.  And with that, the Bruins had lost again.

Takeaways

Anton Khudobin is proving himself to be a valuable commodity for the Bruins organization.  It’s really encouraging to be able to throw a “back-up” goalie in net, and still expect to compete in the game.  After tonight’s overtime loss, Khudobin’s record now sits at 3-0-2, while Tuukka Rask is 3-5-2.  I’m in no way saying that Khudobin should leapfrog Rask on the depth chart.  But that’s not exactly how you’d expect their numbers to be.

How great is Brad Marchand?  He was a one-man offense machine, forcing the puck into Toronto’s end all night.  It was Marchand who made the silky pass to Bergeron for the opening goal of the game.  He is a game-changer, and he will win a Hart Trophy someday, mark my words.

Next: Bruce Cassidy is just what the Bruins need

Anyone else glad this is a home-and-home?  That means the Bruins likely won’t have to face Fredrik Andersen tomorrow night.  With tonight’s win, he is now 9-0-0 in his career against the Bruins.  That is…unreal.