Game #14 Preview - Leafs vs Bruins
Tonight on Hockey Night in Canada the first place Toronto Maple Leafs (9-3-1) will host the last place Boston Bruins (4-7-0). Yes, you read that correctly. The Leafs are coming will be looking to win their third game in four nights, against a struggling Bruins squad. Although Boston handed the Leafs their worst loss of the season (a 6-2 loss in October 20), the defending champs haven't really gotten rolling yet. The Bruins are a good team, and it's just a matter of time before they begin to move up the standings. Much like Thursday against Columbus, the Leafs need to take advantage of a reeling Bruins team while they can.
The current version of the blue and white are not as physical and truculent as they have been the last couple of season. The Leafs have been pushed around a couple of times this season, the physical players in the lineup (Dion Phaneuf, Luke Schenn, Mike Komisarek and Mike Brown) will need to prove that this Leafs team can bring it if they need to. Boston has struggled with speedy offensive teams this season having lost to the Canadiens (twice), Carolina, San Jose and Colorado. Look for the fast Leafs to cause headaches all night.
Toronto will continue to be without top netminder James Reimer, so one of Jonas Gustavsson or Ben Scrivens will get the start. Gustavsson may not be the fan favourite (I'm not his biggest supporter), but he's been getting the job done. Scrivens did play spectacular in his first NHL start (38 saves for the W), but the Leafs shouldn't toy with a finally confident Gustavsson. I think "The Monster" gets the call tonight. There have been rumblings that Cody Franson may get in the lineup at the expense of the struggling Schenn.
Lupul - Connolly - Kessel
Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur
Crabb - Bozak - Lombardi
Brown - Steckel - Dupuis
Gunnarsson - Phaneuf
Liles - Komisarek
Gardiner - Schenn
Lucic - Krejci - Horton
Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin
Caron - Kelly - Pouliot
Paille - Campbell - Thornton
Chara - Boychuk
Ference - McQuaid
Corvo - Kampfer
Players to Watch
Leafs: Dion Phaneuf - Will be responsible for shutting down the big Bruins duo of Horton and Lucic tonight. In previous meetings between these two teams Phaneuf has initiated contact and demonstrated that those two aren't able to run around at will against the buds. Look for him to do so again tonight.
Bruins: Patrice Bergeron - A quiet star, Bergeron is capable in all areas of the ice. He'll be matched up against Connolly for most of the night, in an attempt to shut down the Leafs top line.
Game Time: 7:00 at the Air Canada Centre. TV- CBC. Radio - AM640.