Leafs Look To Bounce Back Against Bruins

The Leafs need look no further than the New York Islanders for a little inspiration heading into action tonight at the TD Garden against the Boston Bruins. The Islanders, much like the Leafs, suffered a beating in game one of their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last night the Isles went down 3-0 early in the first and it looked like the series was all but over. The Isles stuck with it, came back and won the game 4-3. The Leafs will need to be that resilient themselves if they want to make this series respectable, let alone have a chance to win it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were overwhelmed in game one. They looked like a deer caught in the headlights. For the Leafs to make this a series close they’ll need to be much more organized and smart with the puck this evening against a playoff hardened Bruins team. Easier said than done against the recent Cup winners from Boston. But not impossible.
Randy Carlyle has not made his starting lineup clear for tonight’s game. TSN1050 Toronto Maple Leafs beat reporter Jonas Siegel Tweeted the following: “Frattin, Hamilton, Gardiner, O’Byrne among likely candidates to draw into the lineup tonight.”

Does It Even Matter Who Is In The Lineup For The Leafs Tonight?

Whoever rounds out the Leafs starting roster tonight won’t matter if the core guys don’t take their game up a notch. In game one the Leafs key contributors from the regular season got out worked and out smarted by the B’s. Regardless of who plays the 3rd and 4th line wing or the second and 3rd defense pairing, the big boys will need to be much much better. Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul all had great seasons for the Blue & White but all of that will be quickly forgotten if they don’t make their mark on this series. Look for the Leafs core to step it up tonight.

The Bruins Will Try Not To Do What Pittsburgh Did Against The Isles.

The Boston Bruins can also learn a lesson from the Islanders/Penguins game from last evening. The Isles win should be a reminder to the Bruins that game one means very little in a best of seven series, even if it was a decisive win. The veteran Bruins seem to understand that though. They probably won’t get free scoring chance handouts in game two like they did in game one. However, if they let their guard down a bit this series could be tied just as easily as the other one.