The Bruins play the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7:08PM in Toronto. The Bruins will be trying to find their game without a top defense tonight, due to the injury to Zdeno Chara and to a lesser degree Kevan Millar. This will be the first meeting of the teams this season and the Leafs must be salivating to face a Chara-less Bruins defense as he's always managed to put strong clams on the Bozak, Kessel and Van Reimsdyk line.
The Leafs for the most part look like more of the same from last year. They've scored 20 goals while allowing 21 in 7 games. They have scored 5 power play goals and seem to play the normal pesky feed and bang game they have for the past 4 years. Expect the Maple Leafs to be a little extra motivated as this will be a "Hockey Night in Canada" game and they will be playing for pride in the aftermath of this week's terrorist attack on Parliament.
The Bruins have on the other hand, been trying to recover and come up with an approach to play games without their Captain the last two days. Zach Trotman will fill in on the bottom pairing and may surprise people as he looks a lot like and plays like John Boychuk on the ice. Expect him to paired with Matt Bartkowski and for Dennis Seidenberg to move up with Doug Hamilton and Torey Krug to go back playing with Adam McQuaid. No changes expected in the forward lines and the goaltender will be Tuukka Rask.
Keys to the game: Score on the power play as the Leafs give up plenty of chances. Stay out of the penalty box as Kessel is a PP specialist with a blistering shot. The Maple Leafs will want to engage in a physical game to test Boston without Chara, the Bruins must absorb some hits and play a smart tight game. The Bruins will hope to win a low scoring tight game.
Concerns: The Leafs are a team not beyond targeting players for injury and will be targeting Bergeron, Hamilton and Rask. If the Kessel line can be contained and stay off the power play, the Bruins have the depth to gain a victory. Lapsing as has been the habit in their own zone, could be disastrous as the Bruins will have a hard time playing from behind.
Special note: Doug Hamilton usually plays well in Toronto in front of family and friends. Could have a big game!
Until Next Time!