Marner Is Bulletproof And Helps Deliver A Game 3 Victory For Toronto

Mitch Marner is bulletproof. He put his face on the line in the third period to ensure a Toronto Maple Leafs victory. Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game Three. After the game three win, the Maple Leafs now lead the series 2-1.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

First Period 

If fans were expecting the first period to be loaded with goals, they were disappointed. But, the first period was fun to watch. 

At the 17 minute mark, fans saw Mitch Marner show off his speed, vision and puck handling as he skated from zone to zone and then attempted to set up a goal by wrapping around Tuukka Rask

Three minutes later, Marner was back at it. This time around, Brad Marchand had the puck in the neutral zone in front of the Maple Leafs bench. Marner saw Marchand, skated towards him and then slammed him into the boards. Great physicality from Marner.

A minute later, Andreas Johnsson was trying to set up an offensive rush for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He skated from zone-to-zone and evaded David Pastrnak. But, he had a challenge getting past Brandon Carlo. Carlo stole the puck and crushed Johnsson’s strategy.

At the 8:00 minute mark, Marchand was aggressively trying to bring home a goal for the Bruins. Marchand accelerated through each zone and danced around traffic. Unfortunately for Marchand, once he got into the Leafs’ zone, he was unable to phase Frederik Andersen.

Second Period

In the beginning of the second period, the Maple Leafs had great presence in the Bruins’ zone. This time around, the Leafs were determined to get onto the scoreboard. Morgan Rielly fired a shot towards Rask from the Intact Insurance sign. Rielly’s shot wasn’t enough to fool Rask, but Trevor Moore grabbed the rebound and fired a shot past Rask to grab the 1-0 lead for Toronto.

The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t have the lead for too too long. Roughly 1 minute later, the Bruins capitalized on a David Krejci shot. Jake DeBrusk set Krejci up perfectly and the Bruins had managed to tie the game at 1.

A minute and a half later, there was a scary moment as Rask was bulldozed by John Tavares. In the GIF below, you’ll notice that Tavares wasn’t intentionally looking to injure Rask. Charlie McAvoy accidentally pushed Tavares which caused Tavares to fall on Rask. Fortunately, Rask managed to stay in the game, but he did need some medical attention after falling to the ice. 

At the 9:53 mark, the Toronto Maple Leafs found themselves on the power play. While the power play hadn’t been effective as of late, they showed that they were back in business. Marner found Johnsson at centre ice. Marner passed the puck to Johnsson and Johnsson then spotted Auston Matthews in Rask’s blind-spot. Johnsson quickly delivered a pass to Matthews and then Matthews ripped the puck past Rask to capture a goal for the Leafs.

The Leafs’ power play wasn’t done. At the 2:52 mark, Johnsson delivered a power play goal and brought the Leafs to a 3-1 lead. John Tavares and Matthews were credited with assists.

Fans saw another goal in the dying seconds of the second period. This time around, it was the Boston Bruins finding pay-dirt. Jake Muzzin was sent to the box on a holding call, which led to a Bruins power play. Fortunately for Bruins’ fans, Charlie Coyle, who was quite impressive in game two, managed to strike again with a power play goal in game 3.

Third Period

The third period didn’t have any goals, but it was an electric and action packed period.

In the first minute of play, Charlie McAvoy fired a laser of a stretch pass to Brad Marchand. Marchand carried the puck into the Leafs’ zone, but wasn’t able to do much in the offensive zone due to good defensive presence from Nikita Zaitsev.

Throughout the third period, the Maple Leafs were a physical club. Below are three GIFs showing great physical plays from Ron Hainsey, Zach Hyman and Nikita Zaitsev.

In the dying seconds of game three, David Pastrnak had the puck and was determined to strike gold for the Bruins. But, Marner had other plans, he used his body to shut down two shots from Pastrnak to help seal the deal for the Leafs. 

My HERO:

Mitch Marner might not have scored a goal, but he was easily the best Maple Leafs player from an all-around perspective. Marner was creating chances, being physical and blocking shots. He was the most noticeable Leafs player on the ice last night and he truly wanted the game three win. Heck, he used his face to prevent a Pastrnak goal. You have to give the HERO award to Marner.

My VILLAIN:

My VILLAIN was the Bruins Top Line. The Bruins top line of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak was almost invisible last night. Marchand was effective. He was creating scoring chances and showed off his speed/puck-handling, but that was it. Bergeron and Pastrnak were kept silent by the Maple Leafs defensive unit. The Bruins will need better play from their top line for game four.

Three Stars of the Game:

THIRD STAR: Charlie Coyle, 1 goal

SECOND STAR: Mitch Marner, 1 assist

FIRST STAR: Andreas Johnsson, 1 goal, 1 assist

stats from hockey-reference.com and NHL.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals/Josh Tessler

Author: Josh Tessler

Josh Tessler is the Editor and Founder of Puck77. Josh was born in Montreal, Quebec, but has spent most of his childhood and adult-life in the United States. From an early age, Josh had a passion for hockey. He spent a lot of time watching hockey with his grandfather, Sidney Schwartz. His favorite player growing up was Ray Bourque and he’s chosen to honor Bourque by using his number “77” in the blog’s name. Prior to Puck77, Josh wrote for FanSided’s Editor in Leaf (Toronto Maple Leafs blog), SB Nation’s Amazin’ Avenue (New York Mets blog) and Clark University’s The Scarlet. @JoshTessler_ - Twitter