GDT: Leafs at Bruins (7 p.m., CBC); Lines + Keys to the Game

GDT: Leafs at Bruins (7 p.m., CBC); Lines + Keys to the Game

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If the Leafs can pull this off, it would be a huge win not only in keeping Boston behind them in the divisional race, but in boosting confidence for a banged up team facing extended time without Bolland and Bozak.

Keys to the Game for the Leafs:

1 – The Bruins defense pinch heavily almost every play and force the Leafs to play on the boards, which is a weakness for them.  The Leafs need to keep the puck 3ft or so off the boards and make the Bruins play in the open ice — not necessarily the Bruins strength – and use aerial passes when available if those options are not available.  If the Leafs don’t work on this, they will not be able to break out with efficiency this evening.

2 – Play the Bruins hard whistle-to-whistle. Do not engage in in after whistle skirmishes (looking at you, David Clarkson).

3 – The Bruins send two men in and try to force d-to-d passes; passes have to be firm, crisp and on point.

4 – Try not to let the Bruins consistently set up below goal line in on your own zone. The Bruins feast on a cycle and on great board play once they have the D facing the wrong way from the net.

5 – The Bruins defense is more mobile than it was last season, but stretching them out when the opportunity presents itself will generate odd man rushes.

Lines: Leafs vs. Bruins, November 9, 2013.
Leafs Lineup
 
 
Left WingCenterRight Wing
LupulJvRKessel
RaymondKadriClarkson
BodieMcClementKulemin
McLarenSmithson
Left DefenseRight Defense
PhaneufGunnarsson
GardinerFranson
FraserRanger
Rielly
Starter: Reimer