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Preview: Bruins gear up for Original Six matchup with Maple Leafs

This is a big game for the B’s in more ways than one!

NHL: APR 06 Maple Leafs at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game notes

When: Tonight, 7:30 PM

Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA

How to follow: ESPN+, Hulu, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Opposing perspective: PPP Leafs

Know your enemy

  • 5-3-1, 11PTS, 5th in the Atlantic Division
  • William Nylander: 6G-7A-13PTS; John Tavares: 5G-7A-12PTS; Auston Matthews: 7G-3A-10PTS
  • Ilya Samsonov: 2-1-1, 3.99 GAA, .841 save percentage

Game notes

  • Tonight’s game is going to be a massive test for the Bruins, as the absences of two of their top defenseman in Charlie McAvoy (suspension) and Matt Grzelcyk (LTIR) creates a big hole in the defense.
  • Luckily, that hole will be filled by the NHL debut of Mason Lohrei. It was a difficult decision to send him down to Providence, but ultimately the right one knowing management wants him to play games regularly, not sit in the press box. Now, the opportunity to impress with the big club when it really matters is here. Does he take the spot and run with it?
  • Auston Matthews continues to do Auston Matthews things, as he notched two straight hat tricks to start the season...then has only potted one since. Thankfully, they have enough depth to cover any streakiness (see the next bullet point).
  • William Nylander is on an absolute tear to start the 2023-24 season, extending his season-long point streak to nine games with an assist in his last game, a franchise record for the Leafs.
  • The Maple Leafs are losers of two straight coming into this one, falling in OT to Nashville before getting thrashed by the LA Kings on Halloween.
  • Goaltending continues to be an issue for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov has fallen off an absolute cliff, and they seemingly have created a goalie controversy by splitting his time with former BC netminder Joseph Woll. The three-year Eagle has been white hot in just as many games as the former Washington Capital, which poses lots of questions in the crease going forward.
  • Anyone else just get memories of Craig Smith catching Samsonov napping in 2OT in 2021?
  • Tonight is the exciting “Game No. 10” for Matthew Poitras, as the Bruins officially decided he’s staying on the NHL roster (sorry, not sorry Guelph). That doesn’t mean he’s letting up. He told reporters, “I’m still going to try to play with the pressure and play with the mindset that I’m trying to make the team.” That kind of mentality will get him far with Monty and the rest of his teammates, though there are never any guarantees.
  • Tonight is the final game of a four-game homestand for the Black and Gold, before they head to Detroit and Dallas.
  • Sorry that this is an ESPN+/Hulu exclusive. We hope you all find some way to watch tonight’s matchup (or catch up with us on @cupofchowdah on Twitter).

Let’s rock the Garden!