Hello. Ahead of today's game, we're talking to Cam Charron of The Leafs Nation. You can also find him on twitter at @CamCharron.
1: The Leafs are in the playoffs for the first time in a while. Everyone is pretty psyched. How much of a disaster do you think Maple Leaf Square will be?
I can't speak for Torontonians, but there shouldn't be too many bars downtown turned to the Blue Jays and Red Sox game instead of the Leafs and the Bruins. I only lived over there for six months, but what resonated with me was how often I'd overhear conversations about the Leafs, how often they'd discuss the Leafs on sports talk radio and how much Leafs-related paraphernalia adorns the walls of downtown establishments. Keep in mind this was during the lockout and years after, as you mentioned, Toronto had been in a playoff game.
Not being around Maple Leaf Square I wouldn't get to experience it, but weather-dependent, there ought to be a good gathering of people in that area.
2: Tyler Bozak is probable for game 1. What should we expect from him if he is? What do they do if he's not ready to go?
Tyler Bozak's absence may actually make the Maple Leafs better, to tell you the truth. Phil Kessel has scored like gangbusters with Nazem Kadri in limited time with him this season and a re-tooled third line with Joe Colborne, Clarke MacArthur and Matt Frattin looked pretty good in his absence the last two games of the season. With Bozak in the lineup, Colborne is certainly out.
Bozak gets a lot of attention for a player who isn't particularly good at either end of the ice. His point totals as a first line centre are pretty low, especially considering the calibre of his wingers Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. I can see why they kept him around in previous years but now that Kadri has become a full-on top six centreman in the NHL.
3: James Reimer had trouble putting a hat on once. Has he figured that out? What about goaltending? How confident are you guys in him?
GIFs aside, James Reimer can put on hats and stop pucks. He will be judged unfairly by the results of this series, a series that the Leafs by overwhelming odds should not win. In 2011, the Leafs turned to him when they were 13-19-4. He instantly became the starter and the Leafs finished 37-34-11. Last season he took a hit to the head early in the season and his symptoms didn't fully heal until the offseason.
The thing with Reimer is that his stardom is mischaracterized as a one-year, flash-in-the-pan deal. He's not. He's been a legitimate goaltender this season, and will be one next season and likely the year after, regardless of the outcome of this series with the odds stacked against him.
Leafs fans have a right to be confident with him in net.
If you'd like to read more of Cam's thoughts on this series, please do check out his exhaustive Bruins/Maple Leafs Playoff Preview. Seriously, everything's covered in there.