The Boston Bruins fell behind the Toronto Maple Leafs in their Stanley Cup Playoff series 2-1 after a 3-2 loss in the first game in Toronto. And head coach Bruce Cassidy had some thoughts on what caused the loss.
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Most notably, Cassidy pointed to the poor performance of the Bruins' special teams in the contest and said the following of their effort in that facet of the game.
Our kill wasn't good enough for whatever reason. We talked about it. We were a little late on one, didn't get it cleared on the other. Our power play, our first group was a little off. A little of out sync in their plays. I thought we had a really good chance in the third. We got the play we wanted, backdoor to Jake (DeBrusk) and for whatever reason, he wasn't ready for it. He got knocked off stride. But, giving up two (power-play goals) most nights is a recipe for what happened tonight, a one-goal loss.
Cassidy does have a point. The Maple Leafs did convert on two of their three power-play chances while the Bruins were only able to convert once. In the previous contest, the Bruins had held the Maple Leafs to no power-play goals on three chances and emerged with a 4-1 victory.
Special teams play also played a key role in the team's Game 1 loss. The Bruins didn't allow a power-play goal, but the Leafs were able to score shorthanded and match the Bruins' power-play production. So clearly, the team that has won the special teams battles has had the advantage so far in the series.
The Bruins will have a chance to make adjustments before they take on the Leafs again on Wednesday night. Expect them to put in a lot of work on special teams ahead of that contest.
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