May 9, 2013
Leafs need centres to step up their play against Bruins
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

Nazem Kadri of the Leafs gets stopped by Tuukka Rask of the Bruins in the second period of action in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto May 6, 2013. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - The talk at Maple Leafs practice on Thursday was still Dion Phaneuf’s ill-timed pinch on Wednesday night, which ultimately led to David Krejci’s overtime goal and a 3-1 Boston Bruins series lead.

But perhaps there should have been less talk about a pinch, and more about a slap. As in, somebody should give the Leafs’ centres a slap so they can snap out of their funk, or whatever you want to call it.

The statistics are eye-opening. The Leafs four main centres — Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, Mikhail Grabovski and Jay McClement — have played a combined 16 games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins and have a combined three assists, and are an overall minus-8.



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