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PREVIEW: Bruins head to Toronto, face off against Atlantic rival

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Though the Leafs are still without Auston Matthews, Boston is dealing with their own spate of injuries.

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Fortunately, the B’s welcomed back Kevan Miller last week.

PREVIEW

Just the Facts

Who: The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins go head-to-head for the second time this season.

What: While Boston looks as though they’re scraping together wins with workman-like effort, literally bleeding their own blood to score, Toronto has been rolling their scoring lines successfully.

When: 7:00 PM

Where: Mastercard Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canadia

How to watch: TVAS, TSN4, NESN

Rival SBN site: Pension Plan Puppets

Know Your Enemy

In these teams’ first matchup of the season, Toronto was simply out-Pasta’d. David Pastrnak scored a hat trick to lead the Bruins to a convincing 5-1 win, and it looked as though Boston was getting its bearings after a shelling at home by the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. Since that game on November 11, Toronto has won 5 of 7 and has continued to hold the third playoff spot in the Atlantic with Boston nipping at their heels.

Team Leaders

Goals: John Tavares, 15

Assists: Mitchell Marner, 24

Points: Marner, 30

Other notes: Andreas Johnsson, of breakaway ‘fame’ during the Leafs/Bruins playoff series last spring, had a hat trick over the weekend. No big deal.

Game Notes

  • Boston just can NOT catch a break from this injury bug... nay, plague. This is the time of the season to make sure people are coming back fully recovered, but it’s a hard pill to swallow as three of the team’s top four defensemen are still out long-ish term, never mind Patrice Bergeron Trophy-winning forward Patrice Bergeron. Speculation has murmured that Brandon Carlo and MAYBE Charlie McAvoy will be upgraded from non-contact practice in the coming days.
  • Noted by Jason on this morning’s episode of UnSoupervised, goaltending has all but faded into the background in some media narratives (including our own); it seems as though Tuukka Rask returned from his leave of absence with fire, and Jaroslav Halak continues to outperform most expectations. Is there regression in his future? We’re not sure, but he’s held up his end of the bargain consistently.
  • Without Bergeron, coach Bruce Cassidy has little option but to give the reins to David Krejci. Though he won’t be able to fully replicate Bergie’s defensive coverage, Krejci is a deliberate and thoughtful player, and so far he’s responded well to the added pressure of suddenly being thrust into a 1C role. The same cannot be said for Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, who has been heavily sheltered and is still trying to figure out playing at his most effective.
  • The storyline in this game will be Boston’s ability to stifle Toronto’s attack; with or without Auston Matthews, Toronto’s forward group is a lot to handle with a full top-six defense, and Boston is missing 3 of 4 on the back end and the best defensive forward in the game.

NEVER FORGET:

Here’s highlights from their matchup earlier this month. Enjoy!