BOSTON BRUINS (25-15-4) at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (28-13-2)
7 p.m., Scotiabank Enviornment, CBC, TSN Radio 1050
Zdeno Chara vs. Zach Hyman
If one adheres to the adage that the larger they’re, the more durable they fall, Zach Hyman has the power to get in 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara’s face and pressure the behemoth Bruins captain into forcing performs deep within the offensive zone. Now, Chara usually bats away opposing forwards like flies regardless of who they’re, but when the road of John Tavares between Hyman and Mitch Marner goes up towards Chara, there’s potential for Hyman to be disruptive.
FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Containing Patrice and friends
Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak lengthy have tormented the Maple Leafs, and this season has been no totally different. In three earlier conferences, the three have mixed for 18 factors (six objectives and 12 assists), and Bergeron missed two of these video games. Pastrnak particularly has introduced the Leafs grief, scoring 10 objectives in 14 profession video games, together with six on the ability play. The Bruins have depth, but when the Leafs are in a position to maintain this line underneath management, their possibilities of successful improve significantly.
- Wholesome doses?
Every membership could possibly be buoyed by the return of a vital participant. For the Leafs, that might be goaltender Frederik Andersen, who has missed the previous seven video games with a groin harm; for the Bruins, it’s defenceman Charlie McAvoy, who has recovered from a foot harm and is “trending” towards returning on Saturday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy stated. McAvoy has missed the previous seven video games. As a lot as Michael Hutchinson has carried out admirably in Andersen’s absence, the Leafs are significantly better off with their Vezina Trophy candidate in aim.
- Management the feelings
The Bruins will stay the Leafs’ psychological barrier till Toronto beats them within the playoffs — or, maybe, the Leafs handle to win the Stanley Cup sooner or later with out having to face Boston. The Bruins’ most up-to-date post-season sequence win towards the Leafs, final spring, continues to resonate within the Boston room. “It’s turning into an excellent rivalry,” Cassidy stated. “It already was, however I believe it’s rising. Positionally, it’s vital we keep up with them. In that regard, it’s most likely a bit of extra than simply your common two-point recreation.”
- Down and away
It’s attainable the Leafs would possibly be capable to reap the benefits of a Bruins membership — regardless of its lofty place within the Atlantic Division standings — that has had middling outcomes on the highway. Boston is a mediocre 9-9-Four in highway video games, and has scored simply 49 objectives in these 22 video games, 28th within the NHL in highway video games and forward of solely Anaheim, Los Angeles and St. Louis. Nonetheless, the Bruins have gained three of their previous 4 highway video games, whereas the Leafs have gained extra on the highway (15 video games) than they’ve at residence (13).
- Hyman at residence
The return of Zach Hyman to the Leafs lineup on Thursday night time in New Jersey paid off instantly, as he was instrumental on the forecheck and was a plus-4, tying his profession excessive, finished twice beforehand. We all know that Hyman will deliver the identical sort of strategy towards the Bruins. How about that sort of mentality seeping by way of to the remainder of the Leafs forwards? A heavier recreation towards Boston not solely will result in a greater probability of Toronto successful, it’s required towards an skilled membership that doesn’t worry something.
MAPLE LEAFS LINES
Zach Hyman-John Tavares-Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson-Auston Matthews-Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau-Nazem Kadri-William Nylander
Par Lindholm-Frederik Gauthier-Connor Brown
Morgan Rielly-Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner-Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott-Igor Ozhiganov
Frederik Andersen/Kasimir Kaskisuo
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-David Backes
Danton Heinen-Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson-Ryan Donato
Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari-Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk/John Moore-Kevan Miller
Bruins — D Urho Vaakanainen (concussion), F Joakim Nordstrom (leg).
Maple Leafs — F Tyler Ennis (ankle), G Garret Sparks (concussion).
Bruins: 28.2% (third)
Maple Leafs: 22.1% (eighth)
Bruins: 81.4% (10th)
Maple Leafs: 80.2% (14th)