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Series preview: Maple Leafs on the brink of collapse
Credit: Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is truly the best time of the year for quality hockey on a regular basis.

Yesterday, once again, we were treated to four games from four different series, providing us with an excellent spectacle.

Here are the highlights of the day’s games.

Bruins win easily over Leafs

The Leafs had a big game on their hands last night, needing to win Game #4 at home to level the series against the Bruins.

What did the Leafs do?

They didn’t show up.

It’s become a classic at this point.

Toronto lost the game 3-1 at home, while there was really, really no atmosphere in Scotiabank Arena.

Having watched each of the series, as well as at least one home game of each playoff team, I can say with confidence that the worst atmosphere is clearly Toronto’s so far.

It’s extremely quiet, and let’s just say the Leafs players aren’t doing anything to help the situation.

The fans even started booing their own team (in the playoffs, mind you) after the Bruins’ third goal, scored by David Pastrnak at the very end of the second period.

I’d like to note the excellent analysis on the goal by Bruins game describer Jack Edwards, who says verbatim that the leaves (Leafs) are shaking on the branches.

So the fans booed their team back to the locker room at a time when they needed their fans the most… not loud, let’s say, but understandably frustrated.

Mitch Marner was the most criticized player between the second and third periods by the entire hockey planet, and ironically, he scored a beautiful goal in the third period.

Note that the Bruins’ first two goals were scored by former Leafs forward James Van Riemsdyk, on a terrible turnover by Ryan Reaves, and by Brad Marchand, who is now the Bruins’ leading playoff scorer ahead of Cam Neely, who had scored 55 career playoff goals with the Bruins.

In short, the Leafs are on the brink of collapse after this harsh defeat. The Bruins can eliminate the Leafs on Tuesday in Boston, starting at 7 p.m.

And don’t worry, I’m not done with them yet – I’ll come back to their game in detail in another text.

The Bruins lead the series 3-1.

Matthew Barzal keeps Islanders alive

Patrick Roy’s Islanders have no room for error, and they understood it yesterday, winning 3-2 in overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes.

It wasn’t easy, but the Islanders avoided a home sweep yesterday, thanks in large part to Mattew Barzal, who scored two goals, including the overtime winner.

Patrick Roy was very happy on the players’ bench, and after the game, he seemed to have a new lease on life.

He even compared Jean-Gabriel Pageau to Guy Carbonneau, which is no mean feat.

The series continues, then, when it returns to Raleigh for Game #5 on Tuesday, starting at 7:30pm.

The Hurricanes lead the series 3-1.

Steven Stamkos rises to keep Lightning alive

Here’s another team facing elimination yesterday, when they absolutely had to win to stay alive.

The Lightning did just that, thanks in large part to captain Steven Stamkos, who scored twice in a 6-3 victory.

Despite a 3-0 Lightning lead after one period, the Panthers never relinquished the lead and pulled within 4-3 at one point, but Stamkos had other plans.

The Tampa captain has five goals in four games since the start of the playoffs.

Game #5 of this series takes place on Monday at 7pm.

The Panthers lead the series 3-1.

Wyatt Johnston saves the day for the Stars, who avoid the worst

The Dallas Stars had to win game #3 after losing both their home games.

They had to come out strong, and they did, leading 18-7 in shots after the first period.

But even with a 2-0 lead, the Golden Knights found a way to get back into the game, thanks in part to a Jack Eichel goal.

And so the game went to overtime, thanks in large part to Logan Thompson, who was excellent in front of the Knights net.

The game could have been over long ago in favor of the Stars, had it not been for Thompson.

In the end, it was 20-year-old sensation Wyatt Johnston who gave the Stars the win with his second goal of the game.

A beautiful goal that brings the Stars back into the series. The next game is Monday night at 9:30pm.

The Golden Knights lead the series 2-1.


– Here are all yesterday’s results.

– Here are yesterday’s top scorers.


– Today’s program: four games.


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