Leafs goalie Andersen out Sunday in key game

Paterniano Del Favero
Aprile 21, 2017

In recent years, the Penguins were typically the more desperate team, while the Maple Leafs were mere hours away from honing their golf games.

They already got a taste of the level of excitement they should expect in the coming week or two, with a super-charged atmosphere at ACC for Saturday's playoff-clinching win over Pittsburgh. Now, rookies Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander have them back to the postseason. If they lose in regulation, they will face the Washington Capitals.

"I think that would be a big advantage having a game underneath your belt, not hoping right into the fire", Maatta said.

Toronto has been a confident group all season, but there was still a twinge of disappointment over not being able to move as high as possible in the standings.

"They are big, they are strong, they are fast, they have been beaten a number of times in the playoffs, so they are battle-tested to say the least", Babcock said, "and they are as hungry as any team in the National Hockey League and playing as good". "They're a smaller, skilled team compared to us". We're going to find out a lot about this Leafs team in round one when they take on arguably the most well polished team in the National Hockey League.

"It just makes you want it more and more for years to come". "Might as well just jump in".

"No space. Zero. Battle for every inch of ice, from the opening faceoff to the end", said Babcock, who's coached 144 playoff games in the National Hockey League. They have succeeded; they have five forwards who scored at least 20 goals, including T.J. Oshie and Ovechkin, who shared the Washington lead with 33 goals, and 11 who scored at least 12.

Maple Leafs: Youth. The Maple Leafs' inexperience can be a negative, but they can use it to their advantage if they play with the same youthful enthusiasm they've had all season. But dwelling on what might have been for Toronto stopped the second the final buzzer hit zero. "But I still thought we put ourselves in a good position to win the game". Anything less than a trip to the Stanley Cup final is a bust for the Capitals. "Once you get in, anything can happen".

We'll miss you in the playoffs, Dallas. It makes it fun in these types of games in hostile atmospheres. The team has to wait to see if that game matters. He's got a great shot, but he can also score from in close and goes to the net hard, too. The Leafs, however, never did have the consistent energy that Babcock thought he would see, and Columbus reeled off three goals by the end of the second, getting the victor from Cam Atkinson while shorthanded.

TORONTO (AP) — There will be no Battle of Ontario in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs.

Holding leads hasn't been an issue for the Leafs recently, but it was on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, coach Mike Babcock said Frederik Andersen would be ready to start Game 1 of the playoffs.

"Not yet", defenceman Morgan Rielly said.

With Saturday's games in the books, the Bruins' regular season is done. The Leafs answered right back 29 seconds later on a goal from James van Riemsdyk. Van Riemsdyk's wrap-around attempt was a couple inches from sneaking past Fleury. The Penguins have to utilize speed and get on the board before Toronto can get a chance to.

At 7:34 during a Lightning power-play with defenseman Roman Polack off for a minor interference penalty, centerman Brayden Point buried a wrist shot from inside the circle for his 15th goal of the season assisted by left winger Ondrej Palat and defenseman Victor Hedman. The home team hadn't won thus far in the season series. They might be young enough not to realize they're big underdogs in the series and the playoffs are a bigger stage. On Sunday, Toronto won 59 percent of its draws mostly because of how strong the two veterans were.

MoneyPuck has the Leafs at a 65 percent chance to hold that third spot. Toronto handily won the possession battle with Columbus (at almost 55 per cent) and it's because of those crucial wins by Bozak they were able to sustain pressure at the end and preserve any hope of tallying a tying goal. Toronto's a very fast team and Washington has struggled a bit against faster teams.

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