Stu Cowan: No playoffs, but Canadiens kept fighting to the very end

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Boston also won this year's season series 3-1.

That's fine by Gardiner, who is expected to start "Slay the Bruins Take 3" to the left of his likely 2019-20 incumbent, Travis Dermott. Bruce Cassidy hasn't been as committed to that as he has in the past.

Cassidy continued to expound upon that idea in his latest interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich on Tuesday.

The Winnipeg Jets will begin their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series Wednesday while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames play their respective Game 1's on Thursday.

Despite coming off a regular season where he registered a career-best 52 points (five goals, 47 assists), Gardiner was front and centre for many Leafs fans following the playoff loss. To come out and give the fans one last show for the year and a big win, have the new kid come in and have Poehls put up three goals and the shootout victor, it was pretty historical. "Just be patient and play". There's going to be moments in the game where they have momentum. So that's the positive of it.

When Andersen is on his game he can steal a series and, when he's doing that in conjunction with Toronto's clicking offence, the Leafs become one of the NHL's best teams. That would be the downside of, maybe, you rushed into a judgment that you didn't think through.

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Tavares is the biggest difference between the two teams from last year's opening round series. Both are as polarizing as a player can get in their respective cities. "I'll tell you right now we can't find another one". I don't think (the player has) to do that. You pull your starter, throw a guy in there, the rest of the guys are looking at you like, "What the hell are you doing?" If all things go according to plan, Boston will end up with a date with the Lightning, who just finished one of the all-time great hockey seasons. "They've been through a lot in terms of their playoff experience and experience as a group".

"I just really wanted to give fans something cool to watch that they could relate to and show a more personal and real side to us", Matthews said.

"I think the only people really talking about it are the media and that's obviously what you're paid to do". "Listen, it's a performance-driven industry". "There's gonna come a time, unfortunately, where the team might not look the same that it looks now, whenever that day comes". You lose, you're done.

"They allow you to grow and make you grow". But I think that the team we have is so special.

Montreal led 3-2 on Weal's eighth goal at 7:04 of the second, a tap in off a feed by Joel Armia during a power play. We move on to the next game. If it's the second option, there's every reason to believe the Bruins - who ended with a plus-44 goal differential after they were plus-11 at the midpoint - again will eliminate the Leafs and advance.

Sounds like the leash has shortened on Rask. But the Bruins are the much better two-way team, and should prevail.

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