Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: Game # 44
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Broadcast/Streaming: CBC, SN One, City
Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Leafs take on the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final time this season, which provides them with a few months to cool off before their inevitable first-round playoff matchup. Frederik Andersen is expected to miss tonight’s action due to the flu, so Michael Hutchinson will be thrown into one of hockey’s biggest rivalries. Let’s hope he’s ready for a shutout or a goalie fight.
Zach Hyman earned a suspension following their last meeting, and Chris Wagner retaliated with a dumb hit on Morgan Rielly. The Bruins won this game 6-3, and are currently up two games to one in the season series.
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
Par Lindholm - Frederik Gauthier - Connor Brown
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov
Brad Marchand- Patrice Bergeron- David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk- David Krejci- David Backes
Sean Kuraly- Noel Acciari- Chris Wagner
Danton Heinen- Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson- Ryan Donato
Zdeno Chara- Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug- John Moore
Matt Grzelcyk- Kevan Miller
Keys To The Game
The Leafs carry a clear edge in terms of forward depth, but as we all know, Boston’s first line can score in bunches. Toronto doesn’t have a dominant defence-pairing to matchup against them, and David Pastrnak often takes full-advantage. Shutting down Boston’s top line is the biggest key to tonight’s game, and you don’t want to give this group too many powerplay opportunities.
Tonight would be a great time for the Leafs to get their powerplay rolling again. It looks like Auston Matthews will continue to play on William Nylander’s unit, but Mike Babcock has suggested that they could switch back at any moment. Having two strong powerplay units sure worked last season, and I’m interested to see if this can help get Nylander going.
Let’s hope Hutchinson plays well, and the Leafs can come away with another victory on home ice. If the Leafs get blown out, look out for dozens of “the sky is falling” articles. I just want to beat Boston.