The Bruins took part in the second game against the Maple Leafs on Saturday with a 4-1 victory in Boston. Although they won with a wide margin of victory on the dashboard, the game was much closer in terms of physics.
Both teams play as if each saleswoman had a vendetta assigned to a random opponent she had to occupy. It was a mentality that had even appeared on the statistics sheet. For the context, the other three games reached 56 (Caps-Canes), 44 (Avalanche-Flames) and 40 (Preds-Stars). This match had 83 and did not even need an extension. Many successes have been examples of good physical games that most players would consider standard in the playoffs – things like Jake Muzzin, of Toronto, about Torey Krug:
But there were also other shots that the referees let slip because they had not seen them or they looked "clean enough" for a playoff match. The players were hit hard, the skull crashed against the board and often gave rise to real wrestling matches at each stoppage of play. While the merit of knowing whether a referee should "swallow their whistles" during the game can be debated until the end of time, one can not deny that choosing an early arbitrage style often leads players to dangerous situations levels. This is the case of Nazem Kadri at the head of Jake DeBrusk.
There is a bit of context here. Earlier in the game, while he was leaving the penalty area, Kadri went to fly the puck to Bruin. Once he took possession of it, DeBruk attempted to hit the maple leaf. Depending on your point of view, DeBruk either attempted the knee collision, or Kadri tried to counteract the shot and had accidental contact with the Boston player's knee.
In any event, Kadri thought that the move was voluntary and because, from the player's point of view, the dividing line between the clean and dirty game was blurry, he only felt the only way out of the game. getting justice for the shot was to get him himself. The hit was certainly dirty, but the idea behind the act was not too far away, although I doubt it's an argument that will help him at his next player safety hearing.
The feeling that the referees were not going to do anything seemed to be shared by the Maple Leafs on Saturday. Although both teams' physics were among the most important successes throughout the game, only the Toronto players were seen complaining to the officials because they thought they were the recipients of a dirty game. That's what happened because the Maple Leafs are a bunch of whiners, as pissbaby Don Cherry pointed out. argued– or because the referees have actually missed a few calls, which Toronto coach Mike Babcock has acknowledged while blaming his players.
"The referees, the way they played the game, let a lot of things go," said Babcock. "You can not let that get in the way of what you do. Playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is not supposed to be easy, and it's worth it.
"Every game in this series is supposed to improve, it's supposed to get tougher, we have to raise our game here and react."
Babcock is right here in the sense that both things can be true: referees have missed a lot of calls, and his team has to do better to get past those botched games if they want to succeed.
The Leafs will certainly hope to improve their game to continue to make this series a competition, but they will also hope that the officials will improve their game to prevent things from getting worse on the ice. Otherwise, someone could follow Sean Avery's advice and "take the front line" of a player's teeth.