Bruins Desperate For a Win in Toronto


Apr 3, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic (17) protects the puck from Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak (42) at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Boston 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Bruins will be put to the test as they battle the Toronto Maple Leafs without key defenseman Zdeno Chara in the lineup. As mentioned yesterday, Zdeno Chara will be out four to six weeks with a torn ligament in his left knee, leaving a big hole to fill. As it stands the Bruins are 4-5-0 to start the season, not exactly an ideal place to be.

The Bruins in recent years have held an advantage over the Toronto Maple Leafs and tonight they’ll look to bounce back from a loss to the Isles. Fortunately for the Bruins, Toronto has been struggling to find offense. Nazim Kadri and Joffrey Lupul have just four points combined, two goals a piece while Winnik has yet to record a point. While the Bruins have some tasks at hand defensively, the struggling Toronto team should help ease the transition for the Bruins while they learn how to cope without Chara.

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Tonight the Bruins have three things they need to focus on; (1) a full sixty minute effort, (2) remaining focused and (3) finding offensive consistency. Against the Islanders the Bruins didn’t show up until the third period, getting a late surge of energy and being unable to catch up on the scoreboard. They need to come out of the locker room driven and focused from the second the puck hits the ice in order to prevent the sloppy starts they seem to have trending thus far. As Rask put it;

“I hope this is the last wake-up call for our team that we really need to fight [alongside] each other, and play as a unit out there. When we get away from that it doesn’t really go our way out there,” said Rask. “When we’re missing [Chara] hopefully it clicks in our head that playing that way is even more important. When we’re working as a unit we can eliminate those mistakes.”

Consistency is an issue that the Bruins seem to find every season at one point or another. This season, it’s right from the get go, the upside, it can only get better from here…hopefully. While it’s too early in the season to be calling for Chiarelli’s head, despite some questionable roster moves, the Bruins do have work to do. Focusing on playing consistent from game-to-game will bring back confidence that has seemingly been missing.

“When we’re missing [Chara] hopefully it clicks in our head that playing that way is even more important. When we’re working as a unit we can eliminate those mistakes.”-Tuukka Rask

Tonight’s game is the first of four meetings for the Leafs and Bruins, each coming off of a game against the Islanders, the difference, one has a victory, one has a loss. Both will be looking for a victory, each hungry for reasons of their own. What it boils down to, is desperation. ON one side of the ice, there’s going to be a line desperate to turn their less than satisfactory stats around. Meanwhile for the Bruins, the entire team will be playing with desperation in hopes of righting the ship and proving there is more to them than their big captain.