Leaf Zealots: Read at Your Own Risk

By HOWARD BERGER

TORONTO (Apr. 30) – If you’re a fan of the Maple Leafs, you may not wish to proceed further with this blog. Though a smidgen of good news appears toward the end, it is overwhelmingly glum.

How else can one interpret the Leafs performance against Boston the past two seasons? It is impossible to sugar-coat a 1-8-1 record, with losses of 7-0 and 8-0 mixed in. Perhaps hopefully for Toronto fans, composition of the team that meekly surrendered six games to the Bruins in 2011-12 (while being out-gunned 36-10) has been measurably adjusted.

A more brusque version of the Blue and White appeared after the lockout and it resulted in one whole victory over Boston. When taken period by period, however, the Bruins controlled play in all three areas of the ice – and did so with apparent ease. If not for the brilliance of James Reimer, a 1-0 Boston victory at Air Canada Centre on Feb. 2 would have been a reprisal of the touchdown margins from last year. Even when Leafs finally overcame the Bruins, 3-2, here on Mar. 23, Reimer had to perform acrobatics with the ice tilted in his direction – Boston running up a 33-13 edge in shots on goal.

It was a beautiful ugly night for the Leafs.

Now, theoretically, anything is possible in the Stanley Cup tournament, particularly in the frenzied opening round. But, how many fans of the Blue and White are putting hard-earned money on an upset of the Bruins? Leafs have one victory in 10 games against Boston; is it reasonable to think they can win four of the next seven? Stranger stuff has happened, but not often.

On paper, Bruins over-match the Leafs in depth and experience right through the roster and they have the most dominant player – Zdeno Chara – on either team. Yes, the Bruins were edged by Washington in a seven-game series to begin the playoffs last year, but it seems difficult, in this era, for the defending Stanley Cup titlist to maintain hunger and focus. Getting bounced quickly a year later can become an elixir for a championship-caliber team like the Bruins. All elements are in place for another lengthy run.

Now, as mentioned earlier, we are at the point that die-hard Leaf fans should turn away… unless they have iron guts. In summaries and photos, I will recap the Toronto-Boston games from the past two years. Parents must ensure that young followers of the Blue and White come nowhere near this blog. If it happens accidentally, counseling should be sought without delay.

GAME ONE

THURSDAY, OCT. 20, 2011

Toronto 2 at Boston 6

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Toronto, Steckel 1 (Kadri, Phaneuf) 7:29.

2. Boston, Horton 2 (Chara, Ference) PPG 10:32.

3. Boston, Chara (Ference, Seguin) PPG 16:05.

4. Boston, Kelly (Lucic, Ference) 17:49.

Second Period-

Scoring – None.

Third Period-

5. Boston, Lucic 1 (Seguin, Kelly) 2:08.

6. Boston, Bergeron 1 (Horton, Chara) 10:08.

7. Boston, Seguin 2 (Lucic, Kampfer) 11:43.

8. Toronto, Grabovski 2 (Gardiner, Schenn) 12:32.

Shots on Goal: Boston 43, Toronto 28.

Goalies: Thomas Boston, Gustavsson Toronto.

Referees: Eric Furlatt, Francois St. Laurent.

Linesmen: Pierre Racicot, Michel Cormier.

Attendance: 17,565

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 20: The outside of the TD Garden before the Boston Bruins take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 20: Tyler Seguin #19 celebrates goal against the Maple Leafs. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 20: Colton Orr #28 of Toronto fights against Shawn Thornton #22 of Boston. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 20: Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate a goal against the Boston Bruins. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 20: Zdeno Chara #33 celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

GAME TWO

SATURDAY, NOV. 5, 2011

Boston 7 at Toronto 0

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Boston, Seguin 5 (Peverley, Bergeron) PPG 6:25.

Second Period-

2. Boston, Seguin 6 (Bergeron) 0:34.

3. Boston, Lucic 5 (Chara, Krejci) 0:42.

4. Boston, Segin 7 (Bergeron, Marchand) 15:01.

5. Boston, Krejci 2 (Lucic, Ference) 15:15.

Third Period-

6. Boston, Lucic 6 (Krejci, Chara) 5:44.

7. Boston, Campbell 1 (Thornton) 6:12.

Shots on Goal: Toronto 25, Boston 20.

Goalies: Gustavsson, Scrivens Toronto, Rask Boston.

Referees: Gord Dwyer, Kevin Pollock.

Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Jean Morin.

Attendance: 19,497.

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 5: Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins take part in a ceremonial puck drop with Rick Hansen prior to game at Air Canada Centre. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 5: Nikolai Kulemin #41 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is roughed up by Joe Corvo #14 of the Boston Bruins during NHL action at The Air Canada Centre. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 5: Tyler Seguin #19 celebrates his first of two goals against the Leafs. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 5: Dion Phaneuf #3 shoots the puck against Milan Lucic #17. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 5: Carl Gunnarsson #36 of the Leafs skates past as Tyler Seguin #19 celebrates his first period goal with teammates. (Photo by Brad White/NHLI via Getty Images)

GAME THREE

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30, 2011

Boston 6 at Toronto 3

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Toronto, Grabovski 6 (MacArthur, Gunnarsson) PPG 7:29.

2. Boston, Lucic 9 (Seguin, Chara) 15:08.

Second Period-

3. Boston, Krejci 4 (Horton, Seidenberg) 3:33.

4. Toronto, Lupul 12 (Kessel, Schenn) 7:00.

5. Boston, Chara 5 Krejci, Horton) 15:30.

Third Period-

6. Boston, Pouliot 3 (Corvo, Campbell) 3:03.

7. Toronto, Frattin 2 (Crabb, Schenn) 6:00.

8. Boston, Lucic 10 (Krejci) 15:21.

9. Boston, Marchand 9 (Peverley) ENG 19:08.

Shots on Goal: Boston 40, Toronto 37.

Goalies: Gustavsson Toronto, Rask Boston.

Referees: Fredrick L’Ecuyer, Kelly Sutherland.

Linesmen: Steve Barton, Greg Devorski.

Attendance: 19,643.

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 30: Luke Schenn #2 of the Leafs battles for the puck with Chris Kelly #23 at Air Canada Centre. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 30: Benoit Pouliot #67 and Chris Kelly #23 of the Bruins celebrate third period goal. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 30: Joe Corvo #14 of the Bruins skates the puck between David Steckel #20 and Luke Schenn #2. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 30: Milan Lucic #17 scores on Jonas Gustavsson #50 as Luke Schenn #2 tries to defend. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 30: Bruins goalie Tim Thomas #30 looks on during win over Leafs. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

GAME FOUR

SATURDAY, DEC. 3, 2011

Toronto 1 at Boston 4

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

Scoring – None.

Second Period-

1. Boston, Krejci 5 (Horton, Lucic) 4:20.

2. Toronto, Grabovski 7 (Gardiner, Crabb) 5:08.

3. Boston, Kelly 10 (Peverley, Ference) 13:11.

Third Period-

4. Boston, Boychuk 3 (Marchand, Bergeron) 3:06.

5. Boston, Horton 7 (Krejci, Lucic) 14:26.

Shots on Goal: Boston 30, Toronto 22.

Goalies: Rask Boston, Reimer Toronto.

Referees: Francis Charron, Brad Watson.

Linesmen: Michel Cormier, Derek Nansen.

Attendance: 17,565.

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 3: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins faces off against Tim Connolly #12 of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Garden. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 3: Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins is scored upon by Mikhail Grabovski #84 in second period. It was Toronto’s lone tally. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 03: Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Leafs is congratulated by teammate Joey Crabb #46. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 03: Milan Lucic #17 takes the puck as John-Michael Liles #24 of the Leafs stumbles over back of net. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 3: Leafs goalie James Reimer, returning after six-week injury absence, has puck dribble between his legs for Boston goal. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

GAME 5

TUESDAY, MAR. 6, 2012

Boston 5 at Toronto 4

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Toronto, Gunnarsson 3 (Connolly, Kulemin) 3:01.

2. Boston, Caron 5 (Pouliot, Corvo) 13:58.

Second Period-

3. Toronto, Liles 5 (Lupul, Kessel) 0:57.

4. Boston, Seguin 23 (Chara, Krejci) 2:02.

5. Boston, Kelly 16 (Caron, Pouliot) 2:43.

6. Toronto, Kessel 33 (Liles, Phaneuf) PPG 9:52.

7. Boston, Caron 6 (Chara, Bergeron) 13:34.

8. Boston, Seguin 24 (Lucic, Zanon) 16:09.

Third Period-

9. Toronto, Grabovski 21 (MacArthur, Gardiner) 13:13.

Shots on Goal: Boston 33, Toronto 29.

Goalies: Gustavsson Toronto, Thomas Boston.

Referees: Greg Kimmerly, Steve Kozari.

Linesmen: Steve Miller, Don Henderson.

Attendance: 19,684.

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 6: Maple Leafs celebrate Carl Gunnarsson #36 first-period goal against the Bruins. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 6: Leafs coach Randy Carlyle looks on from the bench – none too happily. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 6: Matt Frattin #39 battles for the puck with Johnny Boychuk #55 and goalie Tim Thomas #30. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 6: Phil Kessel is mobbed my teammates after scoring second-period goal. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 6: Jay Rosehill #38 of the Leafs punches Shawn Thornton #22. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

GAME 6

MONDAY, MAR. 19, 2012

Toronto 0 at Boston 8

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Boston, Kelly 18 (Pouliot) 2:25.

2. Boston, Campbell 8 (Ference, Paille) 5:40.

3. Boston, Pouliot 11 (Boychuk, Rolston) 10:58.

4. Boston, Marchand 24 (Seguin, Seidenberg) PPG 12:42.

Second Period-

5. Boston, Pouliot 12 (Rolston, Kelly) 2:31.

6. Boston, Chara 10 (Rolston) PPG 5:45.

7. Boston, Rolston 6 (Krejci, McQuaid) 19:25.

Third Period-

8. Boston, Seguin 26 (Krejci, Lucic) 18:29.

Shots on Goal: Boston 24, Toronto 13.

Goalies: Thomas Boston, Reimer, Gustavsson Toronto.

Referees: Chris Lee, Kevin Pollock.

Linesmen: Steve Barton, Michel Cormier.

Attendance: 17,565.

MY PHOTOS:

Taken at the final buzzer. Nothing else need be said.

Prior to the game – from Zamboni gate at TD Center.

Great moments immortalized high above TD Garden ice.

TD Garden begins to fill in as Maple Leafs and Bruins warm up.

GETTY IMAGES:

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 19: Brad Marchand #63 of the Bruins scores powerplay goal on James Reimer #34 in first period. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 19: Tyler Seguin #19  skates against Dion Phaneuf #3 and Carl Gunnarsson #36 of the Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

GAME 7

SATURDAY, FEB. 2, 2013

Boston 1 at Toronto 0

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Boston, Bourque 1 (Kelly, Peverley) 8:54.

Second Period-

Scoring – None.

Third Period-

Scoring – None.

Shots on Goal: Boston 34, Toronto 21.

Goalies: Reimer Toronto, Rask Boston.

Referees: Chris Lee, Ian Walsh.

Linesmen: Mark Shewchyk, Brad Lazarowich.

Attendance: 19,246.

TORONTO, CANADA – FEBRUARY 2: Ron MacLean, Doug Gilmour and Don Cherry take part in an on ice ceremony with captains Zdeno Chara #33 of the Bruins and Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Maple Leafs. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – FEBRUARY 2: The Boston Bruins celebrate Chris Bourque’s goal – only one of the game. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – FEBRUARY 2: John-Michael Liles #24 and James Reimer #34 stop the wrap around attempt by Patrice Bergeron #37. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – FEBRUARY 2: Phil Kessel #81 is chased behind net by Zdeno Chara #33. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – FEBRUARY 2: Tuukka Rask #40 defends goal against James van Riemsdyk #21 on way to posting shut-out. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

GAME 8

THURSDAY, MAR. 7, 2013

Toronto 2 at Boston 4

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Boston, Berger 6 (Seguin, Marchand) 19:07.

Second Period-

2. Toronto, Kadri 11 (MacArthur, Gunnarsson) 2:32.

3. Boston, Seguin 6 (Marchand, Bergeron) 7:11.

4. Boston, Krejci 6 (Ference, Lucic) 18:03.

Third Period-

5. Toronto, McClement 5 (Grabovski, Gunnarsson) 14:52.

6. Boston, Seguin 7 (Bergeron) ENG 19:45.

Shots on Goal: Toronto 27, Boston 25.

Goalies: Khudobin Boston, Scrivens Toronto.

Referees: Gord Dwyer, Stephen Walkom.

Linesmen: Tim Nowak, Derek Amell.

Attendance: 17,565.

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 7: Alumni legend Milt Schmidt of the Bruins does ceremonial puck drop prior to the game at TD Garden. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 7: Nazem Kadri #43 skates after the puck against Andrew Ference #21 and Chris Kelly #23. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 7: Adam McQuaid #54 squares up against Mark Fraser #45 of the Leafs. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 7: Dion Phaneuf #3 and Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Leafs celebrate Phaneuf’s goal in second period. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 7: David Krejci, Dougie Hamilton #27, and Andrew Ference #21 celebrate following Krejci’s goal in second period. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 7: Jay McClement #11 of the Leafs raises stick after scoring in the third period. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

GAME 9

SATURDAY, MAR. 23, 2013

Boston 2 at Toronto 3

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

1. Toronto, Kadri 14 (MacArthur, Liles) 4:58.

Second Period-

2. Toronto, Grabovski 8 (Hamilton, Frattin) 2:52.

Third Period-

3. Toronto, McLaren 3 (Orr, McClement) 1:34.

4. Boston, Seidenberg 2 (Marchand) 2:30.

5. Boston, Ference 2 (Krejci, Peverley) 18:44.

Shots on Goal: Boston 33, Toronto 13.

Goalies: Reimer Toronto, Khudobin, Rask Boston.

Referees: Francois St. Laurent, Mike Leggo.

Linesmen: Steve Miller, Mark Shewchyk.

Attendance: 19,236.

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 23: Former Leafs captain Mats Sundin takes part in an on ice ceremony prior to game. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 23: Mikhail Grabovski #84 celebrates a second period goal with teammates. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 23: Dion Phaneuf #3 defends against Tyler Seguin #19 of the Bruins. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 23: Patrice Bergeron #37 skates between Dion Phaneuf #3 and Carl Gunnarsson #36. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 23: James Reimer #34 and Nazem Kadri #43 celebrate only Leafs win over Boston in past two seasons. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

GAME 10

MONDAY, MAR. 25, 2013

Toronto 2 at Boston 3 (SO)

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period-

Scoring – None.

Second Period-

1. Toronto, Lupul 4 (Gardiner, Grabovski) PPG 2:04.

2. Toronto, Kulemin 5 (Kadri) 8:01.

3. Boston, Lucic 5 (Peverly, Caron) 9:49.

Third Period-

4. Boston, Bergeron 9 (Hamilton, Marchand) 10:36.

Overtime-

Scoring – None.

Shoot-out-

BOSTON: Seguin scores, Bergeron scores, Marchand stopped.

TORONTO: Bozak scores, Kadri stopped, Kulemin stopped.

Shots on Goal: Boston 29, Toronto 25.

Goalies: Rask Boston, Reimer Toronto.

Referees: Justin St. Pierre, Stephen Walkom.

Linesmen: Jean Morin, Derek Nansen.

Attendance: 17,565.

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 25: Brad Marchand #63 of the Bruins is hit by Dion Phaneuf #3. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 25: Daniel Paille #20 of the fights for the loose puck against Dion Phaneuf #3. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 25: Nikolai Kukemin of Leafs scores second-period goal on Tuukka Rask. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 25: Milan Lucic #17 is congratulated after scoring at 9:49 of second period. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 25: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins scores in shoot out against James Reimer #34. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 25: Tuukka Rask #40 is congratulated by teammates after making the final save during the shoot-out. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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