3 reasons the Boston Bruins need to close out the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5

If the Bruins lose Game 5, doubt might creep in their head after their meltdown against the Florida Panthers in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

After dropping Game 2 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Garden on April 22, the Boston Bruins went to Toronto. They put together two performances in Games 3 and 4 that have them returning home for Game 5 on Tuesday night up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

If the Bruins are to close out their division rivals and head to the second round, they will have to do it against a Maple Leafs team that is desperate and looking to extend the series another day back at home for Game 6 on Thursday. If Boston is going to advance to the second round, they must take advantage of the opportunity in front of them and end the series as quickly as possible. Here are three reasons why Game 5 should be considered a must-win for Jim Montgomery’s team.

Bruins should look back to what happened one year ago

Winning the close-out game is the hardest one to win in any series in any sport. Just ask the Bruins. Last season they were in the same position against the Florida Panthers and were not able to close it out, losing the final three games, including Games 5 and 7 in overtime at home.

Yes, the Bruins roster is different than the one they finished with last season, but the memories should be in the back of the minds of the ones that where there. It’s not very often that a team gets back in the same position one year later with an opportunity to do what they couldn’t do the previous season. They need to take advantage of it.

Toronto showing signs of frustration

Frustration is clearly setting in for the Maple Leafs and that was never more evident than at the end of the second period of Game 4 when Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander were seen disagreeing on the bench. Matthews did not play in the third period as coach Sheldon Keefe said that the doctors pulled him because of an illness. Expect him to play in Game 5 regardless of what Toronto is saying.

It appears that Toronto is in trouble, but as we found last season with Florida who appeared to be in the same position, things can change and change quickly. That’s why winning Game 5 and giving them no life is extremely important.

Toronto has a lot of offensive firepower

Through the first four games, the Bruins have held the Maple Leafs' talented forwards to just seven goals. A lot of that has to do with Jeremy Swayman who has won all three games in the series for Boston, but some of it also has to do with the way they are frustrating the Maple Leafs all over the ice (see above) and that has turned them into a frustrated team.

Toronto is like any other team with offensive firepower, once they get one, they could flood the net with pucks and get their confidence back. That’s not something the Bruins want to see over what could be five more days in the series.

If the Bruins are not able to close out the Maple Leafs in Game 5, then with each passing day, memories of 2023 will be hanging over them. It would be best to end it as quickly as possible as giving Toronto life with a Game 5 victory would make Bruins Nation a little nervous with each passing day.