Bruins-Leafs takeaways: Woll shines in net as Toronto forces Game 7

Bruins-Leafs takeaways: Woll shines in net as Toronto forces Game 7 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins have no more margin for error. They are one more defeat away from blowing a 3-1 series lead in back-to-back seasons.

The Toronto Maple Leafs staved off elimination again with a 2-1 victory in Game 6 of their first-round series versus the Bruins at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night.

William Nylander scored both of the Leafs’ goals, including a breakaway tally late in the third period.

Morgan Geekie got the Bruins on the board with 0.1 seconds remaining in the game. It was too little, too late.

This series has unfolded almost exactly like last year’s against the Florida Panthers. The B’s split the first two games at home, then won two on the road before losing the next two.

The Bruins defeated the Leafs in Game 7 of the first round at home in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Can they make it four-for-four on Saturday night? Before we look ahead to that matchup, here are three takeaways from Bruins-Leafs Game 6.

Top-six centers not contributing for Bruins

Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha both had tremendous regular seasons for the Bruins. Each of them set career highs in points, and they were also really good on faceoffs. Zacha won 54.8 percent of his draws, while Coyle was at 51.6 percent. Those win percentages have plummeted in Round 1. Zacha and Coyle are at 42.7 percent and 46.1 percent, respectively, on faceoffs in this series.

Neither of these veteran centers has scored a goal through six games against the Leafs. Zacha has tallied just two assists. Coyle also has two assists, but both came on the power play. Zero points at 5-on-5 in six games from your top-six centers is nowhere near good enough.

Game 6 was a low point offensively for both players. Coyle tallied just two shots in 18:13 of ice time, while Zacha produced zero shots in 19:26 of action.

The Bruins need much more offensive production from a lot of their forwards, but their top two centers are at the top of the list.

Leafs capitalize after controversial no-call

It took almost 40 minutes of action before we got a goal in this game.

The Leafs opened the scoring with 54.8 seconds remaining in the second period when William Nylander fired a shot that deflected off Charlie McAvoy in front of the net and past Jeremy Swayman. The tally ended a 13-game goal drought for Nylander. It also was his sixth career playoff goal when facing elimination.

The goal likely wouldn’t have happened if the referees called Pontus Holmberg for boarding Mason Lohrei on the sequence before. Lohrei was driven into the boards by a hit from behind with referee Chris Rooney having a clear view of the play. No penalty was called and the Bruins ended up icing the puck. Toronto scored right after the ensuing faceoff.

It was a bad no-call by the referee, but it should be noted that McAvoy had room to skate the puck out of the defensive zone and had two teammates to pass to, but he instead fired it down the ice and icing was called.

Woll narrowly edges Swayman in goalie duel

The Bruins gave Jeremy Swayman his fourth straight start and he played fantastic yet again.

He was very busy early on for the second straight game. The Leafs tallied 11 shots on net in the opening period and the Bruins netminder stopped them all. He made a great blocker save on Mitch Marner in the middle of the frame. He also thwarted attempts from William Nylander and Matthew Knies during a mad scramble in the final seconds of the period.

The only goals Swayman allowed happened on a deflection in front of the net and a breakaway. He has a .932 save percentage in this series, and there’s no question he’s been the best Bruins player over the six games. It would be insane not to start him in Game 7 on Saturday.

The biggest development for the Leafs has been the goaltending of Joseph Woll. Toronto had an awful .871 save percentage through the first four games. The Leafs made a change and started Woll each of the last two matchups and he has made 49 saves on 51 shots. His stellar play in net is the primary reason why this series is going the distance.

Woll’s best save in Game 6 came midway through the third period when Boston made a strong push in the attacking zone.

The Bruins aren’t making Woll’s job very difficult due to a lack of traffic in front of the net, but there’s no denying he’s played amazing the last two games.

It might only take one or two goals to win Game 7 given how well these goalies are playing right now.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top