As a solid team guy and a rookie, Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer probably wasn’t laughing tonight.
But he did get the last laugh.
As the healthy scratch on the Bruins’ back end, Kampfer was the only Boston defenseman spared of any blame for the club’s defensive debacle tonight in Toronto. Boston fell, 5-2, in a game that wasn’t as close as the score.
Just as egregious as the play of the defensemen was Tim Thomas’ goaltending, which featured four goals allowed on his first 14 shots face. Thomas was pulled in the second period but reinserted for the third. He was just all over the place, which has to make some wonder if he got too much rest while sitting out the Bruins’ last two games.
This was a Maple Leafs team trying to get away with turnover machine Brett Lebda and former Bruins first-round pick/folk-guitar player Matt Lashoff as a third pair on defense due to injuries. Well, they got a laugh in too, as Lebda was plus-3 with an assist and Lashoff was plus-2.
Here’s a glance at the box score and some analysis:
•The Leafs were as strong as the Bruins were bad, led by goaltender James Reimer. The rookie made 35 saves on the night, including several spectacular stops. With the Leafs up just 2-1 early in the second, Reimer denied Bruins forward Tyler Seguin on a breakaway — a play that can easily be highlighted as the turning point of the contest.
•Joey Crabb (his real name, not his Dick Tracy-villain alter-ego) recorded one goal and two assists, while Nazem Kadri scored his first NHL goal and added an assist.
•Was there any light among all the doom and gloom tonight? Well, how about the play of Seguin? He led the team with five shots on goal and threw two hits. His second hit on Luke Schenn on the forecheck below the goal line caused a giveaway that helped the Bruins put on a little offensive pressure. Unfortunately, Seguin was at the end of his shift and after he left the ice the Bruins couldn’t do much more than just pass the puck around as though it was one of their impotent power plays (they were 0-for-2 tonight).
•Andrew Ference’s return to the lineup after nine games out could’ve gone a little better. He was minus-3 in just 14:17 of ice time.
•Tomas Kaberle was obviously overwhelmed by the Leafs’ video tribute to their former teammate. He was point-less with a minus-1 rating and one shot on goal. His attempt to slow down Mike Brown after the puck got by at the Toronto blue line looked more like he was brushing against someone on the T, and Brown went on to score the fourth Leafs goal. The Bruins’ power play is now 2-for-34 in the “Kaberle Era.”