TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs had more than their share of scoring chances in overtime in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with the Boston Bruins before David Krejci ended the game with his third goal of the night.
On one play, the player the Maple Leafs count on most for goals -- right wing Phil Kessel -- raced into the Boston zone on the right side and had a step on defender Zdeno Chara. Kessel easily could have continued hard to the net and either created his own scoring chance or possibly drawn a penalty, but instead he elected to hit the brakes and fire a snap shot that was easily stopped by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
Would Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle have liked to have seen Kessel drive hard to the net with the puck?
"As a coach you'd like to see them score every time. It doesn't matter how he gets it done," Carlyle said. "For me to put my two cents' worth in that situation, well, of course we'd like every player to go to the net and pull the puck inside and outside and go upstairs and go around Chara and do all those things. We'd love that. We'd also like to see him snap one from the top of the faceoff circle top shelf on Tuukka Rask. We'd like to see one go through his five-hole. We'd like to see him go short side. We just want a goal in those situations. As far as criticizing or giving advice, yeah, there's a lot of advice given, but now is not the time to criticize."
Kessel had an assist in 24:02 ice time in Game 4 and has two goals and three points in four Stanley Cup Playoff games. To his credit, he did back check hard on what turned out to be the deciding goal, but might not have been in that position had he elected to work the puck to the net at the other end of the rink.
Game 5 is Friday in Boston (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC, RDS).; the Bruins lead the best-of-7 series, 3-1.