Auston Matthews shares his thoughts on a sloppy Game 1 for the Leafs

Ryan Smitheram
April 21, 2024  (11:38)

Three-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner Auston Matthews
Photo credit: Kevin Allen - USA Today Sports

Following the Leafs' Game 1 loss last night, Auston Matthews discussed the Leafs' sloppiness, the Bruins' dominance, and what his team need to do to bounce back in Game 2.

A few minutes into the second period, Auston Matthews had the opportunity to even the game at 1-1 as he beat Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman to a loose puck. Unfortunately, he Put it off the post of the open net and moments later, the Bruins added to their lead on a point shot from Brandon Carlo. It was all Bruins from there on out, en route to a 5-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Where did Matthews think the game got away from them?

"Too many penalties. You give a team like that opportunities on the man advantage, especially that many, they're going to capitalize."

The Bruins went 2-for-5 on the powerplay, scoring on back-to-back opportunities in the second frame that essentially put the game out of reach. The Leafs, on the other hand, went 0-for-3 as their powerplay continues to struggle mightily. The Leafs' penalty kill had been better at the end of the season, but they were unable to continue their late-season success last night.

What did Matthews think of the Leafs' play and how they can get back into the series?

The Bruins took a 1-0 lead just two and a half minutes into the game on a terrible coverage breakdown by the Leafs in the Bruins zone. Although they gave up the early goal, Matthews thought they started pretty well.
"I thought we started out [with a] pretty good game, just little mistakes and they're a pretty patient team and executed on the mistakes we made. It's a game of inches and we got a taste of what the series is all about here in this game and have to elevate our game and put our best foot forward and play our game.

We'd like to be more consistent, but it comes down to execution. We get the opportunities that are there, we have to capitalize when we get them. It's tight, they're a very patient team and they play well defensively and we have to continue to challenge the net and have guys there and outnumber them."

The Leafs outshot the Bruins 39-24 so it's not as though they didn't have chances. As Matthews said, they were unable to capitalize on them the way Boston was able to. Some of the saves Swayman made reminded many Leafs of the way Sergei Bobrovsky played against the Leafs in round two last post-season.
Matthews was also asked about how the Leafs can bounce back in Game 2 the same way they did last post-season against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"It's one game at a time. We can take a lot from this game and course correct it and reinforce different things. In the end, we have to come out and elevate our game and minimize mistakes. We have to take care of the puck and simplify things a little bit, I think when we did that, we got a bump in momentum."

The Leafs will not have much time to adjust as Game 2 goes Monday in Boston, but they are hopeful to have one or both of Bobby McMann and William Nylander back in the lineup. Both, missed yesterday's game with undisclosed injuries and having them back in the lineup would provide a huge boost to the forward group as well as challenge Boston in terms of matching lines.
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Auston Matthews shares his thoughts on a sloppy Game 1 for the Leafs

After dropping Game 1 to Boston, what do you think the result of their Round 1 series will be?

Bruins in 4 or 514528 %
Leafs in 5397.5 %
Bruins in 6 or 79819 %
Leafs in 6 or 723545.5 %
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