Brutal game. But, I've loved Kulemin's game tonight. Showing some real snarl to his game, finishing his checks hard and generally playing with a bit more jump in his step.
He has really stepped it up in the KHL playoffs in the past, I could see him doing the same in the NHL. Especially considering he's the longest serving Leaf and this is his first playoffs with the team, could be a chance to really make a statement.
Montreal's struggling yet is beating the Leafs 4-1 in their own building. Wonder why some fans here are confident that the Leafs would be fine against Boston. Based on what? Boston is struggling? What's different here, folks? :-/
I am just glad we face one of Boston or Montreal.
I want to face either because if we really want to be a good team, we can't be afraid of facing Boston...
Just think of this: If the Leafs can beat Boston in the playoffs, they can beat any team in the East because they are the only team that gives the Leafs a lot of trouble.
Correct. We really need Bozak back onto the line up. Kadri, much like the overrated 2013 free agents, don't compliment Kessel well. We need a physically stronger centre on that line.
He's the most reliable defenceman outside of Phaneuf. However, he isn't capable of playing in a shut down format. Regardless, we're going to be heavily depending on the pairing. The mid pairing is either going to be Liles/ Gardiner or Kostka/ O'Byrne.
That said, in the upcoming playoffs, we're going to have to utilize our forward depth as we normally do. Use our speed to keep the puck in the opposition zone. Colborne isn't doing a bad job in that regard, and may be slotted in between some more offensive players.
Speaking of who we're facing, I think we'd do better against Boston. That team is quite fast and are going to put pressure on our thin blue line. Their defensive core can play a pretty tight game as well while with Boston we can match up physically and speed-wise. As I said before, I don't think Montreal is going to be an easy opponent.
Kessel misses Bozak tonight, against Florida it wasn't noticeable, against a playoff team Bozie knows how to help him out there. Bozie plays Montreal extremely well this year, Kessel seems to be not as noticeable tonight, he's just better when Bozak is his center.