Leafs wary of expectations rising too quickly after 'step' forward this season

Washington Capitals centre Marcus Johansson (90), left to right, celebrates with right wing Justin Williams (14) centre Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) and left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first overtime period of game six in an NHL Stanley Cup hockey first-round playoff series in Toronto on Sunday, April 23, 2017. But with five of six games going to overtime and the other decision a one-goal affair, it's easy to see how close the two squads were. Ovechhin seemed to suffer no after-effects. That's what we're going to do.

There had been no guessing needed with the Capitals' lineup down the stretch, but an upper-body injury knocked defenseman Karl Alzner out for the final four games of the first round and brought Nate Schmidt in. The Leafs' defense gave the Capitals' incredibly talented forwards too much time and space and it led to several games of chicken in the danger areas, where Washington puck carriers slowly but methodically got into great scoring positions before a Leafs defender would commit to closing in. They'll have to rely on their offense to get by the Penguins.

But if you thought the rookies were impressive in the regular season, take a look at how they have performed in the playoffs. The Maple Leafs are looking to force a Game 7. "I've got to try and hold him up and save my defensemen", he added, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. By becoming more mature, I can be one of those players, one of those leaders that Don Cherry kisses and that you want to be in a foxhole with. There should be no more desperate team than us.

With that many buyers and that few sellers, it's a sure thing the price for a top-four defenceman will at least be equal to the one paid previous year by the Edmonton Oilers for Adam Larsson: forward Taylor Hall, the first overall pick in the 2010 entry draft. "The most impressive thing is how Matthews has handled himself off the ice", noted broadcaster Jim Ralph said.

After the game Trotz told Babcock: "Man, you've done a fantastic job". We believe we still have a chance to win. He has five points in four games.

"They knew I was coming from a very honest part and come from a great family and great support staff around me". "But after that we don't panic, we stay focused, we stay the same, we stay on the same program that we want to do". It's always disappointing when you lose out, but I thought we gave them everything they could handle.

Kuraly scooped in a loose puck to end the game, pulling the Bruins within 3-2 in the best-of-seven first-round series. "So, he didn't see the ice after that last one". "It would have been great to play in Game 7", said Babcock, after calming down enough to do his post game press conference. I think we have a bright future, we have unbelievable support from the city of Toronto and Leafs Nation. "Now we have to have a team to match that opportunity".

Wilson, when he is not in the penalty box, is an important part of Washington's penalty-killing so when he is off, others need to respond. "We're just going to keep building the program". But the wait was worth it. Fiala, who has two goals, scored the overtime victor in Game 3 against the Blackhawks.

Babcock said the power play was not at its best Friday. I'm all about value in picking games, and the value here is with the Maple Leafs given the way the first five games have played out.

"It's just kind of been nonstop so I'm not going to go", Matthews said of the worlds in Germany and France after his exit interview with Leafs management.

Instead, they gave him a lifeline. But owner Phil Anschutz's organization subsequently promoted the two most likely internal candidates to replace them, preferring stability with Stevens and longtime assistant general manager Rob Blake over an extensive franchise overhaul.