The Leafs were shut out by one of the league’s worst defensive teams and goaltenders (statistically) on Thursday. Tonight they’ll face one of the stingiest defensive corps backed by the hottest goaltender in the league (Tim Thomas – .956 SV%). If they were looking for a tonic for their offensive shortfalls in other words, this probably won’t be it. Cashing in on powerplay opportunities tonight will be a major key to a result against the divisional foe.
Colby Armstrong will return to the line-up and try to bring some much needed physicality to a line with Kessel and Versteeg. Kessel will center the unit in hopes of finding a bit more space in which to operate away from Zdeno Chara. It will be interesting to see if he takes care of his defensive assignments considering Kessel is usually the first to leave the defensive zone.
JS Giguere will get the start tonight. Not surprisingly a good road team (9-3 this season) given their ability to rely on defence and goaltending, the Bruins are the first of five upcoming meetings with opponents at or near the top of the Eastern Conference. The puck will have to start finding the back of the net soon or December will be anything but merry in Leafland.