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Bruins vs. Leafs 4/29/22 PREVIEW: Game Zero?

In a turn of events, the Bruins and Leafs suddenly have a lot to play for tonight.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Just the Facts:

The Time: 7pm EST

The Place: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Place to Watch: NESN+, TVAS

Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Opposing SBNation Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

The Stakes

This section normally goes into the Just the Facts section but now there’s like a non-zero chance that a win here tonight changes a lot for Boston.

Boston’s win over Buffalo last night has them at 107 points. The Lightning, the team ahead of Boston, let the Blue Jackets walk all over them in a 4-1 loss, meaning that they’re now only a single point up on them. The Lightning currently play the Islanders who just stomped out the Caps, and if they lose...they will finish the season with 108 points.

If the Lightning win at all, the Bruins will face the Carolina Hurricanes...But if the Lightning lose, and the Bruins win, the Bruins first round opponent will be the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Whoo boy.

Know Your Enemy:

  • Almost every player of consequence to the Leafs will be resting tonight: Matthews, Marner, Jack Campbell, all out for game 82. The Bruins themselves will be trying to rest some guys.
  • With that said, this version of the Leafs will bring William Nylander who is having what Leafs fans are calling a “down season”. Given that he has 32 goals and 78 points, as well as being a massive boon on offense for the Leafs, I would suggest Leafs fans look up the phrase “embarrassment of riches”.
  • With Jack Campbell out, it’s looking like Erik Kallgren will be in net for the Blue and White, who has been nursing a .886 SV%.

Game Preview:

What a difference 24 hours makes, huh?

I was probably going to use today to start drafting previews for a possible Boston-Carolina series, and now here we are; The Bruins are potentially playing Game Zero of their first round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if all the cards fall in the right place. Right here at the very end of the regular season. Wicked crazy.

Anyway, the Leafs are coming out of comfortably cruising through a 3-0 victory over the Red Wings and ekeing out a win over the Capitals in the shootout. But that’s never why Leafs fans are hot and bothered. Oh no. The actual events of this game don’t matter, not really. The Leafs fan is currently wracked with anxiety, they’re already thinking of the demon in the back of their brain stem that says “It could happen again” louder and louder and louder.

It will cause a level of suffering you didn’t know you could feel, and only from people who own Tavares away sweaters.

Anyway, we should try to expect a good game for the Bruins. Their postseason may very well depend on it.