Sports Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals Game 5: No one said it'd be easy

18:08  21 april  2017
18:08  21 april  2017 Source:   MSN

Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen takes out Brett Connolly with a big hip check

  Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen takes out Brett Connolly with a big hip check Game 1 between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs was a physical affair in which the Capitals emerged with a narrow 3-2 OT victory. There were plenty of highlights from the Caps’ comeback win, but one of our favorites came from Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen. Holding on to a 2-1 lead in the second period, the Leafs were trying their best to absorb a physical push from the Capitals. The Caps were starting to really throw their weight around, dishing out several big hits in quick succession. When a loose puck was headed behind the Maple Leafs net, Andersen decided to get in on the action.

Line: Washington -240/ Toronto +200. Total: 5 . 5 . The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to even the series against the Washington Capitals in game two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday night from the Verizon Center.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs . Washington Capitals – ECQF Game # 1 Preview It 's been four years since Toronto fans were able to say this: Tonight, the Leafs begin their playoff bid in pursuit of the Stanley

  Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals Game 5: No one said it'd be easy © Provided by Vox Media, Inc.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs have made this a best-of-three, but they're starting to see the best of the Caps.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Washington Capitals

Game 5; Series Tied 2-2

Verizon Center; Washington, DC

7:00 p.m. ET; CBC

The Opposition: Japers' Rink

The Series

Even with the elation of the Leafs going up 2-1 in the series, you had to know in the back of your mind that this was coming. The Leafs defied all expectations and hung right with the Capitals in the first three games of the series. It was a Panic on the Potomac as the Leafs took two of those games and Caps fans began to fear an all-too-familiar script. We can say that we knew better than they did that there was no reason to panic, but this is a market where going on a hot streak too early in the season causes angst, so I suppose it's understandable.

Zaitsev to return for Leafs in Game 3

  Zaitsev to return for Leafs in Game 3 TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost one defenceman to injury and gained another. Nikita Zaitsev will become the 10th Leaf to make his playoff debut this spring, ready to rejoin the team for Game 3 on Monday night after sitting out the opening two games of a first round series against Washington with a suspected concussion. Zaitsev will replace veteran Roman Polak, who suffered a season-ending injury in Toronto's 4-3 double-overtime win Saturday night."I feel better every day," Zaitsev said after the morning skate. "Now I feel good and I'm ready to play.

Washington Capitals ( 1 - 1 ) Toronto Maple Leafs ( 1 - 1 ). NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game Three: Monday, April 17, 2017 at 7:00pm EST. Line: Washington -155/ Toronto +140. Total: 5 . The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Washington Capitals in game three of the Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals vs . Toronto Maple Leafs – ECQF Game #4 Preview & Projected Lines.

But, you knew. I knew. We all knew that the one group of people who were not about to panic were the Washington Capitals themselves. This team certainly didn't amass 118 points and a second consecutive President's Trophy by accident, and it was a reasonable expectation that if an upstart band of young whippersnappers were to topple them in the first round, they would not go down without a fight. No sir.

Which brings us to Game 4. An ugly, ugly Game 4.

The Capitals, as one would expect a very good team trailing a series to do, came out swinging hard. For their troubles, they got an early 2-0 lead. While the Leafs got within one, Tom Wilson's goal-line stand on Morgan Rielly followed by a goal of his all but iced the game. The Leafs trailed 4-1 after one, and if anything, that may have been a bit generous for the home club, who were outshot 15-6 and out-attempted 30-17.

Mike Modano trolls Maple Leafs; Joe Bowen chirps him with OT call

  Mike Modano trolls Maple Leafs; Joe Bowen chirps him with OT call During the Stanley Cup Playoffs there are some top-notch hockey Twitter trolls … Some just happen to be Hockey Hall of Famers.On Monday, during Game 3 of the Washington Capitals–Toronto Maple Leafs first-round series, Mike Modano sent out a few tongue-in-cheek tweets that drew the ire of Maple Leafs supporters.

ECQF Game #3 Review: Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs . Washington Capitals … TORONTO , ON - APRIL 19: Zach Hyman #11 of the Toronto Maple Leafs tries to get behind Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the Washington Capitals as teammate Braden Holtby #70 follows the play during the first period in

Washington Capitals vs . Toronto Maple Leafs – ECQF Game #4 Preview… WASHINGTON , DC - APRIL 15: Kasperi Kapanen #28 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (L) celebtrates after scoring the game winning goal against the Washington Capitals to give the Leafs a 4-3 double overtime win in Game

The Leafs didn't get much going in the second, and spent the start of the third on a 5-on-3 where JVR missed an open net and the team largely shot pucks right into Braden Holtby's pads. The Leafs played a much better third period to get within one, but a Keystone Kops routine at the Leafs blueline leading to a TJ Oshie goal put the dagger in the game.

The Leafs played like absolute garbage. Frederik Andersen- who allowed 5 goals on 27 shots, an .813 SV%- looked utterly human. This is about the worst you could have expected the Leafs to play and the best you could have expected the Capitals to play.

But the Leafs only lost by one goal.

That's your cause for optimism right there. The Leafs, despite spending much of the 60 minutes of Game 4 pointing a Smith & Wesson squarely at their own foot, were still within a goal. Despite allowing four goals in the first period- more than they allowed in a single game to this point- they made it a one-goal game. Everything that could have gone wrong did in Game 4, but the Leafs still made it a game.

House money or not, time for Maple Leafs fans to dream big

  House money or not, time for Maple Leafs fans to dream big Have you ever won money? I’m not a big gambler. Like, at all. In 2015, I went to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas and didn’t gamble a single dime. While on a bachelor party in Niagara, however, I did go to the casino with the guys and decided to gamble a tiny bit just because I was there. I played a little bit of craps on the first night and wouldn’t you know it, I won $100, and that’s what I left with that night.It was a great feeling. I walked in expecting nothing, just happy to be there, and walked out with money. The next night we went back.

Washington Capitals vs . Toronto Maple Leafs – ECQF Game #4 Preview & Projected Lines.

Washington Capitals vs . Toronto Maple Leafs – ECQF Game #4 Preview & Projected Lines.

The Caps, to their credit, showed why they were the best team this season. They smell blood and go back to home ice, so they're unlikely to relent. But the Leafs hung with them as best they could on their worst day. If they can make adjustments, cut back on the defensive miscues, and get a solid night from Andersen, there's no reason they can't regain the series lead.

The Leafs

Let's start with what the Leafs need to do to win Game 5, because it's quite simple: (a) make adjustments; and, (b) don't be stupid.

The Leafs have been at their best in this series when they've confounded the Capitals with their speed. If you've followed the "pace" metric at all this year (basically an aggregation of 5v5 shot attempts for and against per 60 minutes), you would know the Caps are a relatively stingy group, while the Leafs' style is more akin to Evel Knievel jumping two dozen flaming school buses while juggling chainsaws and solving a Rubik's Cube. The first three games played more like the latter, to the Leafs' benefit. The fourth, not so much.

The Leafs need to find a way to wear the Capitals down again, and that starts and ends with the Matthews line. James Mirtle had a very in-depth look at how the Caps stymied the Matthews line by giving them a steady diet of Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov, which turned out to be quite effective. The Caps have last change in Game 5, so don't expect that to go anywhere. The Leafs will need to either find a way to solve Niskanen or shuffle the deck effectively to get a more favourable matchup elsewhere.

Confidence game is a two-way street: Arthur

  Confidence game is a two-way street: Arthur The Washington Capitals spoke with confidence and you wondered, do they feel it? Leafs coach Mike Babcock had been trying to up the ante on his Presidents Trophy-winning opponent since the beginning, believing that if Toronto put pressure on a franchise with a history of failure it would come to bear, like coffins that surface during a flood. Down 2-1, did the Capitals believe in themselves, really? Or could they be made to sweat?Well, the answer came. Facing the prospect of a 3-1 series deficit, the Capitals played with all the switches on.

Washington Capitals vs . Toronto Maple Leafs – ECQF Game #4 Preview & Projected Lines.

Washington Capitals vs . Toronto Maple Leafs – ECQF Game #3 Preview… TORONTO , ON - APRIL 17: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals with teammates William Nylander #29 and Zach Hyman #11 during the first

The Capitals tactically did a lot well in Game 4, but the Leafs really need to stop the vast array of missed assignments and blown coverage that led to many of the Caps goals. The Leafs certainly aren't known for their defensive prowess, but I would have to think something as simple as "maybe don't have four guys play hot potato with the puck so TJ Oshie gets in all alone" would go a long way.

Also, let the Matthews goal be a guide on how to succeed: just put pucks on the net from anywhere, and have people ready to get the rebounds. Be opportunistic.

The Capitals

How the Capitals can win Game 5 is easy: just keep doing what they did in Game 4.

The Caps' style in Game 4 was reminiscent of their 4-1 win in Toronto earlier this month. They plugged the defensive zone, stifled the Leafs' speed, neutralized their offensive threats, and didn't give them time and space. If they can continue down that path, the Leafs will have a difficult time doing what they do best.

More importantly, Braden Holtby has to get back to being Braden Holtby. For all the Capitals' strengths, Holtby has looked vulnerable all series. Even in Game 4, he allowed four goals on 34 shots and was fairly leaky at times. Overall in this series, he has not looked like the presumptive Vezina nominee with the .925 SV% that he was in the regular season.

Senators, Maple Leafs both underdogs on Game 5 betting lines

  Senators, Maple Leafs both underdogs on Game 5 betting lines The Ottawa Senators will be looking to clinch a berth in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2013 on Friday when they host the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their first-round set as narrow -110 underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Ottawa extended its recent dominance over Boston with a 1-0 win as +147 road underdogs in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead into Friday night’s Bruins versus Senators betting matchup at the Canadian Tire Centre.That victory marked the Senators’ 13th win in their past 16 meetings with Boston, and sixth in seven clashes with the Bruins since March 6.

The 1 st round of the NHL playoffs continue this evening and the Toronto Maple Leafs will square off with the Washington Capitals at the United Center in Washington , D .C. in game one of their best-of-seven series.

It ’s easy to look at it and say we were better last game . ECQF Game #4 Review: Washington Capitals 5 vs . Toronto Maple Leafs 2017 NHL Playoffs Apr 20, 2017. Mike Babcock Post Game – Game #4 – Capitals 5 vs .


It is unlikely we will see much change from Game 4, so here is what we have. The only wildcard for the Caps is Karl Alzner, who is said to be day-to-day and unlikely to play in Game 5.


Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitchell Marner

Matt Martin - Brian Boyle - Kasperi Kapanen

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Morgan Rielly - Matt Hunwick

Martin Marincin - Connor Carrick

Frederik Andersen


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller- Tom Wilson

Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Brett Connolly

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Braden Holtby


Maple Leafs unfollow everyone on Twitter and fans are not impressed .
Maple Leafs unfollow everyone on Twitter and fans are not impressedThe lone survivor was Maple Leafs' president Brendan Shanahan.


—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!