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Maple Leafs look to rebound in Boston against the 8-0-1 Bruins

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Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
7 months ago
It wasn’t quite the performance or the result the Maple Leafs had hoped for in their last game against the Los Angeles Kings, as they dropped that one 4-1 at home after coming off a successful road trip. Well, Toronto has to quickly turn the page because they’re headed back on the road for a quick stop in Boston to take on the red-hot Bruins in TD Garden.

Maple Leafs’ lineup:

The Leafs had an across the board poor effort from the Maple Leafs last game against Los Angeles and they now face a strong opponent in the Boston Bruins in TD Garden. It won’t be an easy game by any means, the Bruins are 8-0-1 to begin their season and 4-0-1 at TD Garden.
Many people were questioning Keefe’s decision to keep Matthews and Marner together on the same line due to their limited production at five-on-five, myself included, and there was a little bit of hope that he would change the lines up ahead of this test against the Bruins.According to Mark Masters of TSN, it looks like there are going to be zero changes to the lineup, as these were their lines rushes during today’s skate.
It’s getting a little frustrating seeing the lack of change when your team is struggling to score at times, especially the top two lines. I think it’s time to split Matthews and Marner up and reunite Matthews with Nylander and Marner with Tavares. Those are two duos we know have had success together, and it doesn’t hurt to go back to them if you need a change.
Another area where it’s concerning is Toronto’s bottom six. This group has struggled to score, and Toronto has only gotten three goals from them so far this season. After what was a great showing from Knies and Domi in the third period against the Lightning, they’ve done nothing since. It might be time to move Knies up to the first line and attempt to find a new look for the third line.
Other than the forward lines and defence pairings not changing, it appears Ilya Samsonov will start tonight’s game, as he was reportedly the first goalie off the ice today.

Bruins’ lineup:

There’s quite a bit of roster news surrounding the Boston Bruins as they prepare to take on the Maple Leafs tonight.
For starters, the Bruins will be without three defensemen. Charlie McAvoy was handed a four-game suspension for an illegal check to the head on Florida’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Matt Grzelcyk is also out and was placed on LTIR due to an injury he sustained, and Derek Forbort has been ruled out for tonight’s game after not practising yesterday.
With those three defensemen not available and the recent call-ups Boston made, these were their lines at practice yesterday, according to Fluto Shinzawa.
It was also reported that Brad Marchand did not practice, but there was no mention of Marchand’s availability, so I assume he will suit up for the Bruins tonight and that it was just a maintenance day for the veteran winger.

Players to watch:

Just because it seems to always happen against the Maple Leafs when a former player plays his old team, I’m going to be watching for Tyler Bertuzzi tonight in a potential revenge game against his former team, the Boston Bruins.
He didn’t stay in Boston for long, but he made an impact on that team in the limited game he played there, and I know the fans and players were bummed to see him leave for one of Boston’s rivals.
Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will also have my attention. As I mentioned in the article, these two remain on the top line despite people thinking it’s not a good idea. However, there’s nothing I or the fans can do about it, and all we can do is cheer them on and hope they start producing at an elite level at five-on-five again because we all know they can do so.
 
You can catch the Maple Leafs and Bruins tonight in action on Sportsnet at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT.

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