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:

Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau - William Nylander - Connor Brown
Trevor Moore - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Muzzin  - Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner - Travis Dermott


Frederik Andersen
Michael Hutchinson

Boston Bruins

lines from yesterday’s practice

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Marcus Johansson
Danton Heinen - Charlie Coyle - Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom -  Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner

Defence Pairings

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
John Moore - Matt Grzelcyk


Tuukka Rask
Jaroslav Halak

Round one vs Boston Bruins

14GF - 14GAGoal Differential14GF - 14GA
27.3% - 5thPower Play35.7% - 2nd
64.3% - 15thPenalty Kill72.7% - 12th
Auston Matthews - 4Most GoalsBergeron, Krejci, Pastrnak, Marchand, Coyle - 2
Morgan Rielly - 4Most AssistsBrad Marchand - 4
Auston Matthews - 5Most PointsBrad Marchand - 6
Nazem Kadri - 19Most PMCharlie McAvoy - 6
Morgan Rielly - 24:34/GTOI LeaderCharlie McAvoy - 16
Frederik Andersen - .925sv%Starting GoalieTuukka 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!