Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Attention to Detail Crucial for Maple Leafs after Mistakes Cost Them Game 4

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Attention to Detail Crucial for Maple Leafs after Mistakes Cost Them Game 4

Article excerpt

Attention to detail key for Leafs in Game 5


BOSTON - Mike Babcock's frustration didn't stem from the Boston Bruins scoring on the power play -- it was how the sequence unfolded.

The Maple Leafs had gone over their opponent's lethal man advantage earlier in the day, pointing out the Bruins' ability to suck penalty killers in before striking.

So when Charlie McAvoy snapped a shot past Frederik Andersen to finish off a crisp three-way setup, giving Boston a 1-0 lead early over Toronto in an eventual 6-4 victory that evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal 2-2, Babcock had reason to be annoyed.

"It's easy to sort out," the Leafs' head coach said Thursday on a conference call with reporters. "We didn't sort it out on the top and they ended up outnumbering us on the bottom ... we gave up an easy one.

"We've got to execute."

It was the first of a couple crucial mistakes largely pinned on a lack of attention to detail that would cost Toronto dearly in its failed bid to grab a 3-1 stranglehold on a series that now shifts back to Boston for Friday's Game 5.

The Leafs pinched a few times when they shouldn't have Wednesday, lost a couple Bruins at key moments in the defensive zone, allowed a second power-play goal thanks to some lax coverage and, despite mostly owning even-strength proceedings, squandered too many chances at Scotiabank Arena.

They mostly played well. And they lost.

Focus now pivots to a return to Boston's TD Garden -- a venue where the Leafs dominated Game 1 and were dismantled in Game 2.

"It's a real good opportunity for our group," Babcock said. "To get to where we want to go, we've got to push through and overcome opportunities like we're about to face.

"It's all about growing as a team and building a program here that has a chance each and every year."

But to have a chance to move on when they host Game 6 of the series back at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday, the Leafs will need avoid the silly mistakes that plagued them Wednesday. …

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