LGD – Game 78: Bruins @ Leafs – Big Bad Bruins Are Back In Town

Every time the Bruins and Leafs play each other, the Kessel comparisons come out. It doesn’t matter if Kessel is playing at an MVP level or not, or even that Tyler Seguin is no longer part of the Bruins organization. Those comparisons aren’t fair, but the Leafs need to compete with the Bruins if they ever plan on being successful. And that’s something Toronto hasn’t done in a long time, and probably won’t do for a little while longer. 

Things seemed like they were about to change last year until the incident we will never speak of happened. And now, the Bruins have won 15 of their last 17 games while the Leafs are collapsing in epic Leaf fashion. 

The season may essentially be in the toilet, but if Toronto can pull out a victory against Boston, maybe they can climb themselves out of the gutter. Depending on the outcomes of tonight’s games, Toronto’s playoff chances can range from anywhere between 0.4 per cent and 17 per cent. Obviously, that 17 per cent is contingent on them winning tonight, along with help from across the league. And even then, it doesn’t inspire much hope. 

The silver lining here is Boston played last night in Detroit, so a tired lineup without Tuukka Rask in net might be exactly what the Leafs need. The Leafiest thing to do would probably be to win 4-0 tonight with Bernier getting a 48-save shutout, and saving Carlyle’s job. Because that’s classic Leafs. When you suck, actually win when the season is almost over. So who knows.

LEAFS LINEUP

(Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com)

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel

Mason Raymond – Nazem Kadri – Joffrey Lupul

Nikolai Kulemin – Dave Bolland – David Clarkson

Troy Bodie – Jay McClement – Paul Ranger

Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf

Cody Franson – Jake Gardiner

Morgan Rielly – Tim Gleason 

Carter Ashton was called up from the Marlies today, but indications are that Toronto will still go with seven defenseman tonight. If they decide to insert Ashton into the lineup look for Ranger to watch from the pressbox, and Ashton to get three minutes of ice time and probably be forced to fight. 

Carlyle has been relying heavily on his bottom-six for ice time lately, which has coincided with the return of Dave Bolland. Considering the way they played the Blues last week, don’t be surprised if McClement and Bolland log over 15 minutes each, with Kadri riding the pine for his supposedly terrible defensive play. 

BRUINS LINEUP

(Courtesyof DailyFaceoff.com)

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Loui Eriksson 

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith

Chris Kelly – Carl Soderberg – Jordan Caron

Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton 

Torey Krug – Johnny Boychuk

Kevan Miller – Andrej Meszaros

Jarome Iginla was a late scratch in yesterday’s game against the Red Wings due to the incredibly descriptive lower-body injury, so his status for tonight’s game is in doubt. If he plays, expect all the right-wingers to be bumped down a line so Iginla can take his rightful spot next to Krejci and Lucic. 

STARTING GOALIES

Jonathan Bernier is in net for the Leafs, which is no surprise at all. He’s 1-1 against the Bruins this year with a .911 save percentage despite a 3.58 GAA. 

It’s uncomfirmed who will start for the Bruins tonight but after Rask played last night and backup Chad Johnson has been sensational, we’d put our money on Johnson and his 17-3-1 record. 

The puck drops at 7:30pm est, and will be broadcasted on TSN. 

  • Clarksons Wang

    GO BRUINS GO!!!! they are coming in fast like a hockey puck, leafs no chance tonight because they suck….(Hmmmmm one can only hope) GO BRUINS GO!!!

    How sad that your hope lies on a tired team, a team that stole your fire because the defense decided to sleep the last 10 minutes of the game last year..
    Hopes that your so called saviour Bernier is going to steal the show tonight and save a patheic excuse for a Coach and push you closer to the play offs where you don’t stand a chance agasint teams who worked and competed as a team to be there and you will go home again with your tails tucked in behind you…

    GOOD LUCK, and if by some chance you pull this off it won’t matter in the end because it will be ……..THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR’!

    Bernier is not all that, and he’s shown it many times this year…don’t like my chatter, tough it’s my freedom to say what I feel……….

    GO BRUINS GO!!!!!!

    Hey Reims my man, glad your sitting this all out at least you can’t take the fall again this year….you were great this year with a bad spell but it wasn’t all you and I hope and pray to see you in a new home with a better and more fuctional organization than this one…..nots so badnot having any presure for the rest of the season and collect payment a whole million less that Bernier and all they got was a simarliar Goalie………..what a waste of money…

  • TGT23

    Well, Reimerfan, I guess there is no further question if you’re a Leaf fan or not.

    And Bernier did happen to play really good until being injured in the third. Reimer did good, too.

    But, if Bernier is out for a long time or the rest of the season Reimer will need to be better than he has been or the team stands no chance.

    Hate playing without our starting goalie for the last 4 games but hopefully they pull it out.