Game Preview: Leafs look to continue their winning streak against the Bruins

Game Preview: Leafs look to continue their winning streak against the Bruins

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Choose to remember the good times.

Tonight, the Leafs and Bruins will meet for the first time since May 12, 2013, when the Leafs took down the Bruins 2-1 in front of a supercharged ACC crowd.

The Leafs enter the game winners of two straight against the Bruins. The two teams played three consecutive home and homes in early May of last season and split the series 3-3. The rivalry grew so intense that a large gathering of patrons took in the games from outside the ACC in Maple Leaf Square. The series ended with no decided winner.

The last time the Leafs were in the TD Garden, Tyler Bozak scored a short handed goal and Clarke MacArthur also scored on a partial breakway, dancing around Tuukka Rask in the third period. Neither will be on the ice tonight for Toronto from that May 10th win, which was definitely the last time these two teams played one another in Boston.

The Leafs enter the game having only allowed one goal against in each of their last two outings against the Bruins. James Reimer had the Bruins solved to the point where, if the home and home series last May had continued for one more leg, the Leafs definitely would have won the next game.

The Leafs carry a definitive psychological edge going into this game for that exact reason; the Bruins know the Leafs have their number, and while outplayed, the Leafs were opportunistic offensively and could baton down the hatches and secure the Ws.

Zdeno Chara was frightened enough by his repeated run ins with Colton Orr that he became unwilling to park himself in front of the net, not even in the dying minutes of the game with the result on the line. Similarly, Patrice Bergeron was showing a tendency to quit on his team late in games. He was shut down to the point where one could reasonably suggest the “clutch” plaudits he often receives are overstated nonsense.

If the Leafs can keep doing all the things that saw them find success against the Bruins last May, tonight should just be the next step in imposing their dominance over a long time division rival.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
216 comments
AdamPoirier
AdamPoirier

Alright, now back from bartending out west after watching this display of Leafs dominancy... overall I'm not impressed and this isn't about this game but it's an overall statement. Am I the only one who was excited last year even when we lost to see the hustle and the drive of this team trying to make an impact? The impression was made last season and tonight was a great example of a lack of fundamental play. The team seems to lack a drive this year and it's something i've seen since day 1. The attempts to stir energy through fights and physical play were there but it seems as if the main body of this team is suffering from a too often seen syndrome in Toronto. A desire to pass too often, to get too fancy, and to aim for the highlight reel. I agree that the location of shots matter but frankly, this team doesn't want to win yet. Bring me back 8 months and I'd much rather relive a blown lead in game 7 than I would watch a team that doesn't bring intensity to the ice from the puck drop.


Okay I've said it. Let me have it...

DuckDuckNoose
DuckDuckNoose

How is that video still super sad even though it ends with Kadri's goal?

Conis
Conis

Has anybody tried syncing the audio from the radio and tv? I cant listen to cbc tonight, they will be all about boston

RielledUp
RielledUp

I spent the last 10 minutes being so confused reading this and then finally saw what Alec did there.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

I love having these two young goalies.

AdamPoirier
AdamPoirier

ummm... Am I the only one remembering the Game 7, 3rd period collapse as the last meeting with the Bruins? 

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

CBC is saying Bernier gets the start tonight?

OTL
OTL

I can't get over how similar TAMPA/PITTSBURGH/TORONTO are in the standings.  ALL have 22 points (though TBay has a game in hand) but the GF and GA are almost identical.  In order:


TAMPA - GF 51          GA 37

PITTS - GF 49            GA 38

TORONTO - GF 50     GA 37


Just find it interesting.....

clark sittler
clark sittler

im assuming the following line-up for tonight will be....

Lupul JVR Kessel

Raymond Kadri Clarkson

Bodie McClement Kulimen

Mcleran Smithson Ashton


Gunnerson Phanuef

Gardnier Franson

Ranger Frasier

Reimer

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

Philly passing the Oilers in the standings and looking at the Sabres in their rear view mirror.  All the way up to 26th overall.

Cameron19
Cameron19

And that'll do it, I imagine. 

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

Have they taken all body checking out of the game?

Cameron19
Cameron19

I think I actuallyw ant the Oilers to win this one. 

theacs1966
theacs1966

@Conis I have, it doesn't line up.  You can see the game online in Punjab, mute it and try listen on the radio online, it might come in at the same time.   I doubt it though.

B_Leaf
B_Leaf

@Conis 

You just need to sync the PVR on your tv with the radio. We did it last year in the playoffs. Joe Bowen, Jim Ralph, and Jim Tatti were awesome.

cosmos
cosmos

I thought it was pretty genius subtle comedy.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

It been in newspapers, on radio, TV and websites for the past week. All the Leafs have been interviewed a dozen times. Tired of hearing about it.

OTL
OTL

@wendelsfist James Reimer, who played every game in last season's playoff series with Boston, will start in goal Saturday. He's 4-1-0 in seven starts and is tied with Rask for third in the league with a .942 save percentage.

From the cbc.ca article.

OTL
OTL

@wendelsfistAccording to NHL.COM

James Reimer, who allowed those three goals (and the first two), will get the start after Jonathan Bernier played against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

That was printed last night after the Jersey game though....

mike_84
mike_84

@OTL Ya its pretty interesting. i was looking at this earlier as well

Conis
Conis

@wiski Unfortunately I am not, but that is an awesome idea if it worked.  Gives me a reason to drop some money on surround lol

OTL
OTL

@mike_84 The other interesting thing is that we'd be tied for 7th or 8th in the Western conference with the 22 points.  that's a stronger conference!

newkb
newkb

@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan @wiski @The Truth Hurts I paid $35 for a cord for campfire grade, $65 for hardwood.  Near Cobden/Renfrew.  Bought a cord of each and mixed it for burning up at the trailer this year.  $70/cord for hardwood is a pretty good price.

Denied
Denied

@The Truth Hurts Yea he probably will but if the line is chugging along well with JVR at center I dont think you touch it.

DuckDuckNoose
DuckDuckNoose

@OTL @mike_84 but if we were in the west then we could just crush the east for easy wins