LGD: Leafs Look To Stay Hot Against Bruins

The Leafs face the Bruins tonight at home and for some reason the game starts at 8pm. You’ve been warned, so find something else to do between 7 and 8. Spend time with your girlfriend or your dog, maybe watch some Brooklyn Nine-Nine re-runs, I don’t know.

Seriously, why is the game at 8? Who thought that was a good idea?

The Leafs come in to this game red hot going 5-1-1 in their last seven. Coincidentally, that streak came after an embarrassing home loss to these very Bruins who are on their own five-game winning streak. Like any tilt with the Bruins, it will either be really exciting, or over very quickly.

The Leafs should be well prepared for this game, especially after what happened last time. They’ve had a couple days rest to get ready for this one and should hopefully come out flying. To their credit, they’ve looked very good since that Bruins loss. The powerplay is clicking, the penalty kill is shutting teams down, and the team isn’t getting caved in possession wise. All good signs going in to tonight’s game.

The Leafs

Daniel Winnik slots back into the lineup as he’s apparently 100 percent symptom-free. Head issues are troublesome and I would’ve liked to see him get a few more days off personally. No real big changes to the lineup other than that.

Projected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com

van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Kessel

Winnik – Kadri – Clarkson

Komarov – Holland – Santorelli

Panik – Smith – Leivo

Phaneuf – Franson

Gardiner – Polak

Rielly – Robidas

The Bruins

The B’s are still missing Chara and Krejci, two big pieces in their lineup. Without them, they honestly don’t look that strong. This is a very beatable team and the Leafs need to take advantage of these kind of games. Also, somebody please tell me who Zach Trotman is because he doesn’t seem real.

Projected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith

Lucic – Kelly – Griffith

Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson

Paille – Campbell – Gagne

Seidenberg – Hamilton

Morrow – McQuaid

Krug – Trotman

Starting Goalies

Bernier gets the start tonight and with both goalies coming off weekend wins who cares? Alternating them is the best option for the Leafs and something they need to do when they have two goalies of this caliber. 

The Bruins starter is a game-time decision according to Claude Julien. It’ll probably be Rask though, who has struggled to start the season posting a .909 save percentage. My hope is that he has a terrible game and we see some of this or this or this or this or this.

What To Watch For

  • How high can Bergeron’s corsi get while playing predominantly against Bozak?
  • How many times does the Phil Kessel trade get mentioned (over/under set at 7.5)
  • The Leafs have 30 or more shots in four straight games, something they have never done with Randy Carlyle behind the bench.
  • Something stupid that Milan Lucic will do, probably.
  • Something stupid that I did, which was bet on the Leafs meaning they’ve already lost tonight.

  • BubbaLou

    I saw a stat that read “The Bruins are 140-9 when leading a game by two goals since 2010”. That’s about right.

    If it’s tied or if we have a lead you’ll see some hockey of some quality, but if the Bruins get a lead it’s like watching possession soccer – probably pretty dull, because scoring against their system is very difficult. Their “Turtle mode” extends the whole length of the ice – they forecheck to disrupt, eat you alive in neutral ice, and if you somehow get through, they won’t let you get the puck off the walls for a play. Even when they’re playing safe offense to basically kill time, they have credible scoring threats everywhere and can just compound mistakes made while chasing a comeback.