The NHL playoffs are always a challenge, and the Maple Leafs face a bigger challenge tonight when they play game two of their series against the Boston Bruins without their number two centre, Nazem Kadri who is suspended for games two, three, and four of this series after a hit to Tommy Wingels in game one.
Andreas Johnsson is in the line up. Patrick Marleau is playing centre. A big chance to win in Boston and come home with a tied series.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Series: 1-0 Boston Bruins
8:00PM - Toronto Dominion Garden, Boston
Watch: CBC, Sportsnet, NHL Live, SportsnetNOW
Listen: Sportsnet590, TSN1050
SBN: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Let’s just jump into the lines since that’s what everyone wants to talk about.
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Rick Nash
Ryan Donato - NoelAcciari - David Backes
Tim Schaller - Sean Kuraly - Danton Heinen
Zdeno Chara - Charles McAvoy
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk - Adam McQuaid
The Bruins lines are remaining the same for this game aside from the absence of Tommy Wingels. Someone draws in, but to be honest I haven’t heard of most of the Bruins forwards and I watched game one. Oh Bruins.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Leo Komarov - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Zach Hyman - Patrick Marleau - Mitch Marner
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown
Andreas Johnsson - Tomas Plekanec - Kasperi Kapanen
The Maple Leafs forward lines at the top are re-arranged with Komarov on the wing of Matthews and Nylander. I believe this is Babcock’s way of getting Leo on the ice with Marchand to try and neutralize some of the rats play as these two enjoy getting under each others skin, while Matthews/Nylander go up against Bergeron/Pastrnak.
Marleau to C with Marner is an interesting move seeing as there’s a centre sitting in the press box already - Dominic Moore. It’s only game two so some experimenting can go down before the Leafs return to Toronto and get the last change to match lines better.
Andreas Johnsson joins the team and is wing partners with Kasperi Kapanen which should make for some fun fourth line offense.
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Roman Polak
The defence isn’t changing tonight, perhaps some usage may.
Freddie starts as usual.
So the question posed all over the place is: Can the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins without Nazem Kadri?
Of course the answer is: Yes. They beat the Bruins without Auston Matthews, so why not without Kadri?
The biggest non-roster change we need to see from the Maple Leafs is to stay at even strength as much as possible. Now one of the bigger catalysts for all the PK time isn’t playing so perhaps that;s the solution. Another is to check the tablets after goals to see if you can challenge them before the puck is dropped, eh?
Game two starts at 8PM, not 7 so make sure to get that nap in as it’s going to be a late one tonight.
Go Leafs Go!