After the Bruins rang in 2011 with a disappointing 7-6 shootout loss in the Buffalo, the team boarded a bus for a short trip to Toronto to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. Despite losing their last two games, the Bruins are riding a 5-game points streak thanks to the NHL's Salvation Army points system. While, the Bruins are looking to end their road trip with a win, the Leafs will try for their second straight victory after a decisive 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators in "The Battle of Ontario" on Saturday night.
The B's have played the Leafs twice this year and have a 1-0-1 record in those contests. They last met on December 4th in Toronto, with the Bruins coming up short 3-2 in a shootout.
The Maple Leafs have a few injury concerns heading into tonight's game. Denfenseman Brett Lebda (illness) is questionable, while goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and center Mike Brown (broken finger) will not play. The Bruins will be without Mark Stuart (broken finger), while Gregory Campbell (flu) is considered "50/50".
- I think Tuukka Rask needs to get a start. Not playing for 7 games and then being pulled after one period can't be doing much for his confidence. Julien needs to throw him right back out there and prove that he has confidence in his abilities. Plus, Thomas needs the rest. We all know that Thomas is a goalie that does not perform well when he gets burnt-out. The B's have some big road games against Montreal and Pittsburgh in the next week. I would rather see a well-rested Thomas against the Habs and Pens, but I highly doubt that Julien will give Rask the start. Expect to see Thomas in goal tonight.
- Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard, and Nathan Horton were spotted doing some scouting at the Leafs practice rink today.
- Phil Kessel has cooled off after a great start to the season...shocker. Kessel has 7 goals in his last 29 games after 7 goals in his first 8 games.
- The Leafs own the second worst penalty kill percentage in the NHL (76.1%).
- Toronto has 5 players with 10 or more goals (Phil Kessel: 14, Mikhail Grabovski: 13, Nikolai Kulemin: 13, Clarke MacArthur: 10, and Kris Versteeg: 10).
- The Leafs are 14-19-4 on the season and are in last in the Northeast and 13th in the East.
- Tonight's game starts at 7:00 PM ET and airs on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Public Skate gets started at 6:30 PM ET.
- For more on tonight's game, check out the always awesome Pension Plan Puppets