Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins: Game 20
Time: 7:00 P.M ET
Location: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Leafs face the back half of a home-and-home tonight, after a stirring win against the Bruins on Friday. Once again, they are without Auston Matthews, hopefully for the last time. He’ll have another four days to recover before the Leafs’ next game, so the earliest we will see him is the coming Thursday.
In the meantime, Toronto has to deal with a team they are rather evenly matched with. Yesterday’s game was about as even as it gets, with shot attempts tied and the game going to overtime. Mitch Marner and his linemates got back on track in a big way last night, and that is huge for the Leafs, as they need all their scoring depth, especially without their best player. Now, the attention will turn to William Nylander, who has been playing well over the last few weeks, without the points to show for it. He leads the team in relative shot share, and it was notable how the Komarov-Kadri-Nylander line performed better against the Bruins top players than Komarov-Kadri-Brown (granted, in the smallest of samples).
The Bruins are very much a one line team, but that one line is absolutely horrifying. With Matthews, the Leafs might be able to go power vs power, but without him, they just have to do their best to survive the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak unit. With McElhinney in net, that is even more true.
Meanwhile, the Bruins got a solid effort out of their backup last night, and will be playing Tuukka Rask today, giving them a decided edge in goal. It’s hard to see the Leafs as anything but clear underdogs in this game, given the goalie matchup, but of course, that’s why they play the games.
Zach Hyman - Patrick Marleau - Connor Brown
Leo Komarov- Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Matt Martin - Dominic Moore - Josh Leivo
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman - Connor Carrick
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen - Jordan Szwarz - Anders Bjork
Tim Schaller - Reilly Nash - Noel Acciari
Matt Beleskey - Sean Kuraly - Jake DeBrusk
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Paul Postma - Kevan Miller