After letting the game 7 loss sink in, its time for playoff grades. I’ll be going through each player on the Leafs and grading their performance based solely on their playoff performance and giving a little explanation for why they deserve the grade. If you disagree with a grade, please feel free to give your own grade and justify why you think it is true.
Zach Hyman: A
I thought Hyman was one of the most impactful players in the whole series. Physically, he was winning board battles, getting takeaways, hitting, slashing, crosschecking and doing everything to get under the Bruins skin. Offensively, he helped keep the puck in the Ozone and even created some nice chances.
Auston Matthews: D+
Very uncharacteristic and nervous performance by Matthews. He was not involved physically, constantly lost the puck and had a lot of trouble getting his shot off. Normally he’s such a calm and collected player, but this series he looked completely off. There must have been something wrong with him physically or mentally this series.
Willian Nylander: C-
He was completely non-existent both offensively and defensively for most of the series. Mostly just floated around doing nothing. He became much better in the last 2 games, especially on Kadri’s wing. He actually started playing decent offensively.
Nazem Kadri: B+
I thought Kadri was a wrecking ball all series. Our most physical player was one of our smallest guys. He was had a good two-way game. He was dangerous offensively with whoever he had as linemates and made Johnson and Nylander legitimate threats. Sadly the suspension was harsh.
Patrick Marleau: A-
Veteran leadership. This guy was rock solid throughout the series coming up with important goals. Gave us a huge opportunity with his 2 goals in game 7. Class player
Mitchell Marner: A+
Where do I begin? Best player this season, and best player in the playoffs. Offensive dynamo. Was dangerous in every single game.
James VanRiemsdyk: B
With limited ice time, he still found a way to contribute offensively. He was a good net front, and quite a bit more physical than usual. Overall, not great but not bad
Tyler Bozak: B+
He had a decent two-way game, and was a monster on faceoffs. He was involved physically and was quite noticeable offensively as well. Pretty good performance from the 3rd line.
Connor Brown: C-
I hardly noticed him on the ice. Was a part of the awful PK early on. I’m starting to think that he just isn’t that great of a player. He had a good game 7 though.
Tomas Plekanec: A-
He was garbage in the regular season, but a monster in the playoffs. Got the shutdown assignment and performed admirably after the 1st 2 games. He was strong offensively and defensively.
Leo Komarov: D-
Was terrible offensively and defensively. Constant turnovers, and looked like a passenger. Does this guy even hit any more?
Kasperi Kapanen: C
He was pretty bad on both ends of the ice. Constantly lost physical battles and made dumb decisions. He messed up on 7 odd-man rushes. Finally finished 1 chance in game 7 though.
Andreas Johsnon: B-
Had a decent playoffs for someone with such few games in the NHL.
Morgan Rielly: A-
Outside of a couple mental errors and a rough first game, he settled down very nicely to anchor the defense. Shutting down the Marchand line is no easy task, and its not like he had much support. Played with a lot of leadership.
Ron Hainsey: B
He tried playing his heart out. But he is just too old to be playing on the top pair with those tough assignments. He wasn’t great but he gave it his best shot.
Jake Gardiner: C+
Yes I know he had one hell of a game 7. But in 6 of the 7 games, he was our 2nd best defender. He was one of the few players able to clear the zone. He was physical involved and limited his boneheaded plays. Too bad he saved it for game 7.
Nikita Zaitsev: C
Capped off a subpar year, with a sub-par playoffs. I think the injuries during the season unsettled him. However, he is just a sophomore and can improve. He wasn’t particularly bad or good.
Roman Polak: B+
Was every physical and played with a certain calm and collected feel in the series. He wasn’t impressive by any means, but what else do you want from a #6/7 defender. He was solid for his limited skillset.
Travis Dermott: C+
He didn’t look ready for the playoffs. He just doesn’t have enough experience yet. He was a turnover machine in the past 7 games.
Frederik Andersen: D
Simply unacceptable play from our #1. He let in around 2 soft goals per game, and they were often back breakers that took away all our momentum. During the series it felt like every Bruin shot was going to the back of the net. He had a couple decent games, but was completely disastrous in the rest.
His stats speak for themselves: 3.76 GAA and 0.896 Sv%. Simply can not win with sub .915 SV% if you want the cup.
Curtis McElhinney: D
Played half a game and was also terrible.
That’s ALL Folks