This afternoon the Toronto Maple Leafs have the opportunity to advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2004. Fifteen long, long, long years of failure, with two round-one losses to the Boston Bruins in there for good measure.
In those fifteen years, the city of Boston has celebrated ten championships: four World Series title, four Superbowls, one NBA title, and one Stanley Cup. The city of Boston has won enough. They can go cry into the harbour this year.
Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs
3PM - Scotiabank Arena
Watch: NHL Live, CBC, TVA Sports, NBC, Sportsnet
Listen: 680AM News (yes, bumped off 590 for a Blue Jays regular season game)
Opponent: Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Maple Leafs have taken a 3-2 series lead against the Bruins in this series; fighting through blown calls, stupid decisions made by teammates, good goaltending, giants trying to eat our smaller players, an opposing coach who weeps in press conference. At least the Leafs have the NHL video review team right in town so they always make calls go their way.
There was no morning skate today, but here are the lines we assume will play tonight:
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau - William Nylander - Connor Brown
Trevor Moore - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Muzzin - Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner - Travis Dermott
lines from yesterday’s practice
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Marcus Johansson
Danton Heinen - Charlie Coyle - Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
John Moore - Matt Grzelcyk
Round one vs Boston Bruins
|14GF - 14GA||Goal Differential||14GF - 14GA|
|27.3% - 5th||Power Play||35.7% - 2nd|
|64.3% - 15th||Penalty Kill||72.7% - 12th|
|Auston Matthews - 4||Most Goals||Bergeron, Krejci, Pastrnak, Marchand, Coyle - 2|
|Morgan Rielly - 4||Most Assists||Brad Marchand - 4|
|Auston Matthews - 5||Most Points||Brad Marchand - 6|
|Nazem Kadri - 19||Most PM||Charlie McAvoy - 6|
|Morgan Rielly - 24:34/G||TOI Leader||Charlie McAvoy - 16|
|Frederik Andersen - .925sv%||Starting Goalie||Tuukka Rask - .922sv%|
Despite the special teams, the Maple Leafs have been the better team in this series. There have been meltdowns, but overall it’s been a very good series for the Leafs,
Since it’s an afternoon game, this preview is also your game day thread. Most of us are busy so I swear to Gord if there’s any shenanigans I will turn this blog around and we’ll go back to the Burke years.
Enjoy the game, enjoy the company, and most importantly: Go Leafs Go!
Sunday Funday in the Square.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 21, 2019
NOTE: Fans must clear the Square at the conclusion of the Leafs game and will need to re-enter for the @Raptors tailgate.#LeafsForever x #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/kg9cRf69ar