It’s game four between the Bruins and the Maple Leafs, and we are back in Boston, baby for game 5 in this first round of the playoffs on NESN. The series is tied ad 2 games to 2, with only 2 or 3 games remaining.
The Bruins underperformed in game one of this series, giving up a game in which they had home-ice advantage.
Some fans were a little bit disappointed by this
Then last weekend, the two teams met again, and the Bruins were much more physical and aggressive in play. The Bruins would win this match by a decisive 4-1
In game three on Monday, the Bruins played ok, but not well enough to win in the playoffs, and giving up two power-play goals was the difference maker.
Notably underperforming was the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line, with lots of missed passes and hurried plays, and not enough shots on net. Neither Krug nor DeBrusk were playing their best, though they were coming off injury so their may have been some hangover effect.
On Wednesday the Bruins were in a position where they needed to “steal a win” on the road if they wanted to win the series. They did so, and now each team has won a game in the other’s barn.
Can the Bruins take care of business on a Friday night at the TD Garden?
I think they can.
What do the lines look like?
Getting close. Oh, yes.
John Moore and Marcus Johansson were able to play ton Wednesday, displacing Karson Kuhlman and Steven Kampfer. While the obvious spot for Mojo is on Krecji’s right side, he was skating on the left side of the Coyle line yesterday, so we could possibly see Heinen up in the top six, and will likely see Backes slide up there for a shift or two.
Who’s going to play tonight?
I’ve been hearing that it may be this guy:
Or maybe it’s this guy:
Sean Kuraly (arm) has been skating and is expected on the ice tonight, completing the best 4th line the Bruins have had in years. Kevan Miller is still out. It’s a playoff game, so Tuukka Rask is the starting netminder.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Toronto has played strong defense, blocking a lot of shots, and is a tougher opponent than they’ve shown during the season.
There are still no injuries to speak of on the Leafs’ roster. Nazem Kadri is still suspended, and Toronto fans are sad.
It sounds like Willie Nylander will center the Toronto 3rd line, putting Marleau back to the wing.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and TSN beat writer Kristen Shilton):
Maple Leafs Forwards
#11 Zach Hyman — #91 John Tavares — #16 Mitch Marner
#18 Andreas Johnsson — #34 Auston Matthews — #24 Kasperi Kapanen
#12 Patrick Marleau — #29 William Nylander — #28 Connor Brown
#63 Tyler Ennis — #33 Frederik Gauthier — #42 Trevor Moore
Maple Leafs Defense
#44 Morgan Rielly — #2 Ron Hainsey
#8 Jake Muzzin — #22 Nikita Zaitsev
#51 Jake Gardiner — #23 Travis Dermott
Maple Leafs Goaltending
#31 Frederik Andersen
#30 Michael Hutchinson
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 19, 2019