By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29
In the spring the Leafs fall! – Jack Edwards 2018
The Boston Bruins are moving on to round two, and we decided to go over our three stars of this round against the Toronto Maple Leafs as we get ready for game 1 in Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon. This was a grueling series for both the Leafs and the Bruins as these original 6 rivals needed to go 7 games to settle the score and many heroes so new and some old stepped up for Boston and now its time to recognize them.
Series Stats: 7 GP, 2 G, 2 A, +5, 2 PIM
The centerpiece of the Worker B’s line did not disappoint after returning from injury. While playing in a shutdown role Sean was able to prove that his playoff performance in 2017 was no fluke. Having to move up and down the lineup is never an easy task, but Kuraly proved once again that he was up to the task as he was leaned on by Bruce Cassidy in a few games and stepped up when needed to. Kuraly is an RFA in the offseason and has been the best fourth center the Bruins have had since Gregory Campbell so retaining him is a must and seeing how he performed this round. While looking at Tampa Bay roster it is crucial for the Worker B’s and Sean Kuraly to continue to grind and work the high cycle depth is going to be huge in this series and Kuraly should be seen as a dark horse heading into game 1.
Series Stats: 7 GP, 5 G, 8 A, +1, 2 PIM
What else can be said about Pasta he literally tied one of Gretzky’s records this round he was unbelievable early and the main reason why the Bruins went up 2-0 in the series. The first line was dominant in each of the team’s victories including when Riley Nash had to fill in for Patrice Bergeron. The only downside to David’s play was that after being a +6 after the first 2 games Pasta had a -5 rating through the next 5 games but its hard to fault him as he scored 13 points in 7 games. His 6 points performance in game 2 will be by far one of the best games to be ever played by a Bruins forward and will be held in the memories of fans for a very long time. Next up for Pastrnak will be an even harder test as the Lightning have one of the best blue lines in the east so it will be important for Pasta to stay consistent if the Bruins expect a chance to be in this series.
Series Stats: 7 GP, 5 G, 2 A, 0, 4 PIM
Going into the series not a lot of people talked about this rookie, he was coming off a decent rookie season posting 16 goals and 27 assists but what stole the heart of Bruins fans with Jake was his work ethic and his relentless pursuit of the puck. This playing style was why I had him as a dark horse in this series and a potential game breaker for Boston. Looking at his game logs for this series Jake was the most consistent Bruins forward and was only held off the board once in game 3. Jake followed up by having his moment in game 7 scoring a tying goal and the series-winning goal as he ate Jake Gardiner alive on a rush which was created out of nothing to put the Bruins ahead 5-4. The key for Jake in round 2 is just to keep having fun, he seems to live for these moments so the rest will come naturally smile Bruins fans this one is a keeper and a real playoff performer for years to come.