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Photo Credit: Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: To Take Total Control of the Series

You don’t need me to tell you again that the Leafs couldn’t have better-executed a road win in game one in Boston. We all saw it with our own eyes.

Toronto will try to play with that same tenacity tonight in a game with absolute monster implications if they can take it down. I’d assume that most people, the Leafs themselves included, were looking to take a split back to Toronto and not fall behind like they did last spring, resulting in an almost-impossible uphill climb to take down game seven. To replicate Thursday’s performance and go home with a 2-0 lead would really put the Leafs not just in the driver’s seat (they’ve already done that by stealing home ice), but in total control of the series and take a lot of air out of Boston’s tires.

As for what that should look like, the Leafs will likly again need to weather an early storm from the Bruins because TD Garden will be a madhouse this evening. And from there the stars need to take over like they did last game. Tavares, Marner, Nylander all got on the board and Matthews looked lethal a number of times. Babcock leaned on his big guns heavily, didn’t pursue the matchup game too hard, and got things to a point where Cassidy tried to get his killer Bergeron line away from Tavares. That all needs to happen again, and perhaps we should expect the top forwards to see their ice-time share increase even further, as Matthews nearly clocked in over 21-minutes in the opener, by far the most he’s ever been used in the playoffs.

Lineups

The lineups, as always, from DailyFaceoff:

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 75.0#36 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 83.0#8 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 78.8#14 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.95#12 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 74.3#43 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.8#9 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.3#56 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.80#8 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 72.3#73 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.3#33 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 75.5#36 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 75.04#1 FL3
Trevor Moore
TREVOR MOORE

Rating: 72.4#72 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 68.9#186 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.6#97 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.64#20 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.0#6 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.0#56 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.03#14 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 76.6#18 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.4#80 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.02#15 DL2
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 77.0#15 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 73.7#44 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 75.33#1 DL3

Obviously no changes for the Leafs, but we did talk about ice-time allotment up top and it’ll be interesting to see if the defence pairings get a little different workload. Gardiner and Dermott were hardly used in the opening game and the latter particularly struggled it seemed. Toss it up to injury recovery maybe, but we’ll see if things get better for that duo tonight.

LW C RW Forwards
Brad Marchand
BRAD MARCHAND

Rating: 86.8#1 LW

Patrice Bergeron
PATRICE BERGERON

Rating: 85.8#4 C

David Pastrnak
DAVID PASTRNAK

Rating: 84.8#3 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 85.78#1 FL1
Jake DeBrusk
JAKE DEBRUSK

Rating: 78.5#15 LW

 

David Krejci
DAVID KREJCI

Rating: 78.6#23 C

Karson Kuhlman
KARSON KUHLMAN
FL2 Rating
Rating: 78.58#2 FL2
Marcus Johansson
MARCUS JOHANSSON

Rating: 73.9#69 LW

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 71.8#120 C

Danton Heinen
DANTON HEINEN

Rating: 73.9#48 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.20#11 FL3
Joakim Nordstrom
JOAKIM NORDSTROM

Rating: 70.7#107 LW

Noel Acciari
NOEL ACCIARI

Rating: 71.5#128 C

Chris Wagner
CHRIS WAGNER

Rating: 69.9#113 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.70#18 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Zdeno Chara
ZDENO CHARA

Rating: 75.7#23 LD

Charlie McAvoy
CHARLIE MCAVOY

Rating: 78.4#19 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 77.01#11 DL1
Torey Krug
TOREY KRUG

Rating: 82.2#1 LD

Brandon Carlo
BRANDON CARLO

Rating: 74.0#41 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 78.12#3 DL2
Matt Grzelcyk
MATT GRZELCYK

Rating: 73.3#48 LD

Connor Clifton
CONNOR CLIFTON

Rating: 73.2#53 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.27#5 DL3

As of right now this might not be 100-percent accurate, as there are questions about Jake DeBrusk’s injury status going into tonight’s game and it looks as though David Backes will draw in regardless. That’s partly good news for Toronto, as Backes isn’t the type of player you use to answer getting torched in the speed game, but then again he’s one of the dirtiest players to ever lace them up so the Leafs’ key players will need to keep an eye out.

Goaltenders

It’s Freddie versus Rask, of course. Andersen was very strong in game one as the Leafs spent a good portion of the game defending a lead, while Rask was fine on the Boston side as well. It was a tight game in all areas and we should expect the same tonight.

The start time for tonight is a little later than usual with the games being staggered all day. Leafs-Bruins will be on Hockey Night in Canada at 8:00pm EST.