The series moves to Toronto for Game 3 (April 15, 7 p.m.) and Game 4 (April 17, 7 p.m.).
Then again, Cassidy prefaced his remarks about Marchand's transformational season with this: "We're not through it yet".
Backes scored seven goals and added 13 assists over 70 games in 2018-19, his lowest point total of his 13-year National Hockey League career. With the Leafs already being one of the least penalized team in the league, it's going to be big for the Bruins to take advantage of the power play chances they get and to cash-in on their opportunities when they come.
And with all that said, I trust him more than the Flames' goaltending. I bet if you took the hits around the league it's a lot lower now than what it was.
This time around, the Maple Leafs will need to find a way to limit the game Pastrnak does. Boston won the 2018 edition of this fixture, 4-3, but not before blowing a 3-1 series lead.
After taking a 3-1 lead in the series, Boston lost Games 5 and 6 and fell behind 4-1 in the third period of the decisive seventh game.
The Gardiner-hate up in Toronto reached a peak previous year when he was minus-5 in Game 7 against the Bruins, the worst coming on this Jake DeBrusk goal.
"I think he is someone that people have decided isn't a good player, and so they pick on him".
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"Definitely", he said. "I've been with this team a long time, a lot of these guys".
The most effective way for the Maple Leafs to put this storyline to bed is to get out to a better start in the series and avoid chasing it the way they did for much of the time a year ago.
For most of the season, we knew this matchup was coming.
"Really [Sparks is] not back here sooner in my mind", Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "I think there's been certainly changes to each team and additions and subtractions, the familiarity of the styles of play, but it's going to come down to the performance". "It's going to be on the ice, it's going to be amongst two teams".
"All the young guys know what it's like going into that building now", he said. "They can score, they can check very well, they're well-structured, I just think they play playoff-winning hockey". The biggest thing was (my) kind of not understanding the implications of some of the things that were going on. Since then, the little one has been seen at Leafs games, looking at his father through the rink-level glass.
"I tried really hard to get away from (being a distraction) this year", Marchand said. He has put the work in during practice and has prepared to the greatest possible extent and that what he plans to have in mind come puck drop in Game 1 on Thursday. I guess the negative in the back of your mind, if you don't give your starter the benefit of the doubt, if he's having one of those average games, you can get quick trigger fingers.
"That's a good question", Babcock said.