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Fresh Links: Icebreaker

The time for analysis and prediction is over.

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Here we go!
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins take on the Maple Leafs tonight at TD Garden in Game #1 of their first round series. Tune in at 7:00PM on NESN.

  • So, how good ARE these Bruins? Take a look at the season so far to appreciate the adversity they have already overcome. The Fourth Period
  • No homer- this postseason power ranking is not as optimistic for Boston. WEEI
  • Seven media sources made their predicitions, and the conclusions are by no means unanimous.
  • The performances of two key players and one undeniable statistic will sway the series result. HockeyBuzz
  • Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic sat last evening with Adam Jones to talk Bruins. Will it be deja vu all over again? Will an upgrade in centermen carry Toronto forward? Why the bold David Backes healthy scratch? (Skip to 1:20 mark- Audio, 12:00) 985 The Sports Hub
  • Shinzawa also spoke about his view of the series, forward lines, the goaltending matchup, strategy, and who is the Bruins’ x-factor player. (Audio, 4:22) WBUR
  • Four keys to the series include a nod to history, both good AND bad.
  • Some current Bruins have postseason experience, some bring experiences gathered with former teams, and other young Bruins not so much. Boston Herald
  • Amalie Benjamin reports on the new and improved Brad Marchand. Brad’s older brother breathes a sigh of relief. NHL
  • A new approach to postseason pressure has been helpful for Tuukka Rask. NESN
  • Who chose whom? The story behind Karson Kuhlman’s signing in Boston demonstrates plenty of interest on both sides. It looks to be paying off. WEEI
  • “Behind the B” closes out the regular season with the annual Florida trip, where the team enjoyed motorsports, a miniature horse, and an announcement at the Jacobs’ estate. David Pastrnak tried his hand at goaltending, and the spotlight is on the Bruins’ nutrition services at Warrior Arena. (Video, 21:39) Bruins NHL
  • Is this the official portrait of Hizzoner? @DaysofYOrr

From behind enemy lines:

  • Assess Toronto’s and Boston’s defense and special teams in part two of this analysis of the matchup. HockeyBuzz
  • Keys to the series for Toronto nod to the fact that the Leafs are challenged in both neutral zone play as well as in their own zone. Toronto Sun

Elsewhere around the rink:

  • Quick hits from last night’s first round opening night action: It was honorary former Bruin Jordan Binnington for the win against Blake Wheeler and the Jets last night. The Lightning struck thrice against the Blue Jackets, who then scored four unanswered goals in the third period for the win. The Islanders stung the Flightless Birds in overtime. NHL The Stars bested the Predators USA Today and (now cageface) captain Joe Pavelski scored in the Sharks’ win over the Golden Knights. Sporting News