The Boston Bruins embarrassed the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 1 of their first-round series Thursday night — a series that looks like it will be chippy.
There’s no love lost between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. That was never more evident in their Game 1 clash on Thursday night than when the Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri put a vicious hit on Bruins forward Tommy Wingels’ that sent him headfirst into the boards.
Toronto, which fancies itself a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup Final, was clearly none too pleased about getting dressed down to the tune of 5-1 (4-1 at the time of the hit). But lashing out is no way to get your team back on track on the ice.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty got a one-game suspension for a hard check against the Vegas Golden Knights in those teams’ first game, so it’s safe to say that Kadri will be spending some time in the press box, as well.
But enough about the ugliest part of this game. Let’s talk about the best part — the standout individual performances.
1. Tuukka Rask: For some reason, some people do not think that Tuukka Rask is good, which boggles the mind, because Tuukka Rask is very good. We all know that you can’t get anywhere in the Stanley Cup playoffs without solid goaltending, and Rask brought it on Thursday, posting an incredibly .963 save percentage with 26 saves.
2. Brad Marchand: Of course. Marchand had a goal and an assist in Boston’s win over Toronto, and he also decided to use some strange intimidation techniques — like licking people:
3. David Pastrnak: Marchand’s assist was actually to Pastrnak, on this beautiful one-timer:
But Pastrnak, in addition to this goal, had two assists of his own. He’s going to be perhaps the key to this series, if not the entire postseason, for the Bruins.
The Bruins host the Leafs for Game 2 on Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m. ET.