Brad Marchand Gives Maple Leafs Praise After Game 2 Loss

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has praised the Toronto Maple Leafs following Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Maple Leafs on April 22.

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Boston and Toronto are playing in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and after the Bruins cruised to a 5-1 win in Game 1, the Maple Leafs responded in Game 2. Toronto edged out a 3-2 win on the road to even up the series.

The Maple Leafs are playing with a more physical edge as they outhit Boston in Game 1 and had over 40 hits in Game 2. That physical edge isn’t something the Maple Leafs are known for, and Marchand gave Toronto praise for playing a different style of hockey than they have been used to in the past.

“We have to continue to be better…it’s a very tight playoff series, we knew it was going to be a battle and they showed up.” Brad Marchand said.

“They’re playing a really good playoff-type game right now. You knew they would. They’re built different than in the past years. They’re playing a lot more physical, very committed to forechecking, playing very tight defensively. So, you’ve got to give them credit. They’re one of the top teams for a reason,” Marchand said to the media on April 23.

“Then when you add their offensive ability on top of that, they’re a tough team to play right now. We’re seeing it. Even in the first game, it was a different game than the score. We have to continue to be better. It’s a very tight playoff series. We knew it was going to be a battle. They’ve shown up. They’re playing for keeps. It’s a good challenge,” Marchand continued.

Although Marchand says Toronto is playing differently than in years past, he says the physical part of their game isn’t a surprise.

“Not really. Every year we play them in playoff time they show up, they compete hard, they battle, playing physical. They definitely have a few more physical guys, they added some grittiness up front and on the backend. They are competing hard. But, I wouldn’t say it was unexpected. They are bringing what we thought they would. Again, they are playing for keeps,” Marchand added.

Toronto did add Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi, Connor Dewar, and Ryan Reaves up front while on defense, the Maple Leafs acquired Simon Benoit and Joel Edmundson to add more grit to their lineup.

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Despite Boston winning 5-1 in Game 1 and only losing Game 2 by a score of 3-2, Marchand believes the Bruins still haven’t played their best hockey.

“Not yet, no we can be better,” Marchand added. “For sure (there) are some areas we need to continue to grow in. (In) some areas we’ve been good, other areas we need to be better. We can definitely prove our game and put a better showing out there.”

Boston will have a chance to show their improvements in Game 3 which is set for April 23 in Toronto.

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Despite winning Game 1 and goalie Jeremy Swayman only allowing one goal, head coach Jim Montgomery decided to keep the goaltending rotation going and started Linus Ullmark in Game 2.

Although Boston lost Game 2 with Ullmark in net, Montgomery said he has no regrets over his decision.

“No second guesses. He was terrific. He made multiple big-time saves, and it’s the strength of our team. Both of them played really well. We only scored two goals,” Montgomery said after the loss on April 23.

Ullmark made 31 saves on 34 shots in the loss to Toronto on April 22.

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