Bruins set to take on Maple Leafs in Northeast clash

The Bruins will welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to TD Garden tonight for the first time this season. The Leafs are off to a strong 5-2-1 start. Toronto's 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday snapped a three game losing streak (0-2-1) for the truculent hockey club from YYZ. Former Bruin Phil Kessel has led the way for the Maple Leafs offensively with 9 points (7-2-9) in 8 games, but #81 has struggled in the past against his former team and is yet to score a goal against the Bruins in 6 contests.

Meanwhile, the B's are looking to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night that was far ugly than the score implies. The Bruins will be without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who suffered a fractured forearm via Brandon Dubinsky slash in Saturday's game.

The Bruins will honor Hockey Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt in a pre-game ceremony that will highlight his contributions to the Boston Bruins and mark the opening of new exhibit at the New England Sport Museum dedicated to Schmidt. Schmidt is the only man in Bruins history to serve as a player, captain, coach, and general manager. He contributed to four of the franchise's 5 Stanley Cup titles, including two as a player in 1939 and 1941. The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a lithograph commemorating Milt Schmidt Night.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Boston Bruins

7:00 PM ET

TD Garden, Boston, MA

TV: NESN

Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

SB Nation's Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Notes:

- The Leafs will be without forward Colby Armstrong, who will be on the shelf 4-6 weeks with a finger injury. Toronto has called up Luca Caputi from the AHL. Caputi is expected to fill in for the injured Armstrong.

- Will Claude Julien give Tuukka Rask back-to-back starts or will he go back to Tim Thomas?

- The Bruins are -175 money line favorites at the time of publish.

- Despite having the 11th best scoring punch in the NHL (2.88 goals per game), the Leafs do not put a lot of shots on net. Their 26.2 shots per game average is 29th in the league.

- Rookie and Brampton, ON native Tyler Seguin will play against his hometown team and the team that was responsible for bring him to Boston. There has been some speculation over whether or not Seguin will stay in the NHL or be returned to his junior team. My prediction is that he stays in Boston. He has very little to gain by going back to juniors. Although, he will see more playing time in the OHL, playing in the NHL will help him develop more as a player and a person. By staying in Boston, he will be able to learn the team's systems and culture and the NHL game. One aspect of Seguin's game that needs some work is his defensive game. He is not going to learn to improve defensively against inferior competition in juniors, where he can get away with playing more lax defense. In the NHL, if he makes a mistake, he will get burned and we all know that we learn best from our mistakes.

- Adam McQuaid will see his first game action of the season and fill in for the injured Johnny Boychuk.

- Open Thread starts at 6:30 PM ET

- For more on tonight's game from North of the Border, check out Pension Plan Puppets

Obligatory Embarrassing Leafs Fan YouTube Video:


How many SteveDangle rip-offs do Leafs fans need? Shot in your childhood bedroom: check. Aggressive cuts: check. Guitar-heavy music bed: check. Over-active hand gestures: check. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Dangle must be tickled pink about all the Dangle knock-offs in Leafs Nation. Dangle was the original and does it better than all the pretenders out there. At least Dangle looks at things objectively, this ginger fan boy is blinded by his blue and white tinted lenses.

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