BOSTON -- Here we are: the Toronto Maple Leafs' first do or die game in nine years. If they defeat the Boston Bruins tonight, they live to play one more game. If they lose, it will be time to hit the golf course.
Let the jokes begin.
In all seriousness, this game is a big one for the city of Toronto and fans of the Maple Leafs. The last time people were so invested in the Blue and White was when the team sat above the Eastern Conference standings early in the 2011-2012 season only to crash and burn to a 13th place finish. Fans hope the team will come away with a better result but history isn't o...
The New York Islanders will take on the Boston Bruins at 7pm at the TD Garden in Boston. The Islanders (20-16-4) are looking to continue their success in the most serious playoff push the team has had in years, going 7-1-1 in their last 9 games.
Despite their recent point streak that has carried the Isles into the top 8 in the East, the Bruins (26-9-4) have been no walk in the park for the New York club this season. The Northeast Division leaders have won both meetings between the two this season and have outscored the Isles 8-3. (Photo Credit: Hazboy/Flickr)
Rewind to the Spring of 2010. The Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup semifinal round, came back to take the series against the Boston Bruins while down 3-0 in game seven. The comeback mentality of the Flyers started then, and it hasn't let go.
That moment in Flyers history may be a fond one, but it may have ruined the current cast of players. Expecting comebacks every night takes a lot of stamina and endurance to pull off. It shouldn't be expected on a nightly basis.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov allows Brad Richards' 2nd period goal. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Flames head back on the road tonight, a place they have not been too fond of as of late, currently riding a 9-game win-less streak (0-8-1). Breaking the streak will not come easy heading into Chicago to face the league’s best team. The Blackhawks will finish off rare back-to-back home games after losing last night, 5-4 to the defending champs Los Angeles Kings.
Now 5-9-0 in games against the current playoff set, acrimoniously booed off the Wells Fargo Center ice after a sadsack performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves at a crux. Are they a playoff team?
Is this team, that needs to be bailed out by magical timeouts on a daily basis, that can only play 20 minutes on any given night, that cannot get the big save when they need it, a playoff team?
Toronto Maple Leafs (15-9-0) at Boston Bruins (14-3-3)
Tuesday night in Washington, yeah that really happened...the Bruins came out firing on all cylinders, clearly upset about losing to life long rivals Montreal. The first period of the Caps game was as exciting for a Bruins fan as it gets. After the officials rewarded Brad Marchand with a penalty shot for Alex Ovechkin's hooking on a breakaway, the Honey Badger went five-hole on Braden Holtby and put the B's up 1-0. Marchand leads the Bruins with 12 goals so far this season.
Not long after, Milan Lucic showed his worth by sticking with the puck, sending it to Zdeno Chara, who took a shot on net, and after hitti...
Boston Bruins (14-3-2) at Washington Capitals (8-11-1)
Still not sure what to make of the Bruins performance against the Canadiens this past Sunday. On the one hand, they played weak defense and that last goal on Rask was really inexcusable, on the other hand if the officials call the cross check on Seguin, the Bruins go on a power play, they don't lose Chara for 17 minutes and we're talking about a different game. I did however enjoy Claude Julien's postgame comments on the continued unpunished embellishment from Montreal, look it up if you haven't seen it, definitely worth a watch.
Boston ended it's six game win streak with that 4-3 loss Sunda...
As expected last night was a relatively tight match between two teams who had pretty similar stats going into the game. Twenty-one year old, Swede, Robin Lehner was called up from the AHL to hopefully repeat the shutout performance he had in Boston exactly one year before...but he was bested by Patrice Bergeron in overtime.
The first period saw the Bruins kill off their twenty-sixth straight penalty, their best PK record since 2009. The B's also outshot the Sens eleven to five and had twice as many face off wins in the first twenty minutes, despite heading into intermission scoreless.