Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Boston Bruins' Charlie Coyle and Morgan Geekie celebrate a goal by Jake DeBrusk against Toronto Maple Leafs' Ilya Samsonov, while Calle Jarnkrok and Ilya Lyubushkin look on during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series on April 20, in Boston.The Associated Press

Five years ago Joel Edmundson won a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues. They beat the Bruins in Game 7 at TD Garden to win their first NHL championship.

On Saturday Edmundson, now a defenceman for the Maple Leafs, couldn’t help but think about it before the first game of their playoff series against Boston.

When he arrived at the “Gahden” for the morning skate, he went out onto the ice to relive the high point of his career.

“I took a second to take it all in again,” said Edmundson, 30. He was traded to Toronto in March by the Washington Capitals. “I have good memories and want to make more in this arena.”

Game 1 went sideways for Edmundson and his teammates in an ugly 5-1 defeat. To win the best-of-seven first round they must rebound on Monday when the Original Six rivals clash again. Games 3 and 4 will be at Scotiabank Arena come Wednesday and Saturday.

The Maple Leafs were penalized a half-dozen times, had lapses on defence and allowed a pair of power-play goals. They are usually quite good at faceoffs but won just 23 of 54, and went 0-for-3 when they had a man advantage.

“It was not good,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It was slow and disconnected.”

Auston Matthews, the league’s top scorer, missed a yawning net and took a penalty that was converted into a goal. Neither Matthews nor Mitch Marner, two of Toronto’s top three players, mustered a single point.

Maxi Domi was flagged for penalties twice and deserved a third. He was so jittery that he got a talking-to by the referee before the puck dropped. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov was unable to come up with big saves when needed. Edmundson made a mistake that led to Boston’s first goal.

Pretty much it was a hot mess all around.

Something has to change – and quickly – or the Maple Leafs will lose in the opening round for the seventh time in eight years.

“You have to have a short memory,” Ryan Reaves said Sunday at the team’s hotel. The 37-year-old forward has appeared in 108 playoff games, the most on the team. “You look over what went right and went wrong, make adjustments and get rid of it. You have to forget about that game and get back to work.

“You can’t be worried about the past. You have to look forward and flip the script.”

The Maple Leafs didn’t practise on Sunday but had a lengthy meeting to digest what happened the night before. Oh to be a fly on those walls.

Keefe was tight-lipped when he met with journalists.

In Game 1 Toronto was without William Nylander, he of 40 goals and 98 points this season, because of an undisclosed injury. The team refuses to say what happened to him or how long he might be out.

“No updates on William,” Keefe said twice when asked, although Nylander did skate on Sunday.

“No updates on the goalie,” he responded when queried about Samsonov’s play.

“No updates on the lineup,” he replied when asked if there could be changes.

The truth is that they pretty much have to do everything differently to keep from getting whacked with an axe handle again.

“We’ve had stretches where we couldn’t win a couple of games and bounced back and strung a lot together,” Reaves said. “We’ve had games where we got absolutely waxed and came back the next day really strong so I am not worried about bouncing back.

“It will be there tomorrow.”

The last thing Toronto to has to do is figure out a way to quiet the crowd. The Bruins scored early and their ardent fans just got louder and louder. They sang and taunted Matthews and Samsonov.

“The people here just love hockey,” Edmundson said. “In the Stanley Cup finals five years ago as we were driving to the game everyone on the sidewalks flipped me the bird. All of us on the bus were laughing.”

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe