It has to be pretty miserable to be one of the many fans who follow the Toronto Maple Leafs. The messiah in Auston Matthews seemed set to rid the Leafs of their Boston curse. So far it ain’t looking that way, at all.
Bruins fans, on the other hand, are not remotely surprised at how well their Bruins have started the post-season run. They’ve been electric to watch, gelling like a finely tuned machine. A playoff-ready machine.
David Pastrnak has exploded, and the funny thing about Pastrnak’s explosion is that a few fans were worried by a couple of performances in the regular season. Not anymore, I should hope. The dangerous Czech has notched nine points in just two games. Scoring four goals on eight shots and delivering five assists. Shooting at 50% is startling. For some handy comparison, the point leaders on the Leafs are Marner, Brown, Reilly and Hyman with just two each.
The best line in hockey have combined for 20 points in just two games, let that sink in.
Expecting a Kickback
It’s hard not to get sucked into the Bruins hysteria, it really is that catchy. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs earned their place in the postseason and will be expecting a kickback on home ice. If Auston Matthews wants to eat on the high table he knows he has to be better.
Expect this Maple Leaf team to look a little possessed out of the gate, Mike Babcock will have them riled up. Luckily the Bruins will be a little riled themselves (see below and excuse that disgraceful pun).
Riley Returns for the Bruins
Marchand Bergeron Pastrnak
DeBrusk Krejci Rick Nash
Heinen Riley Nash Backes
Schaller Kuraly Acciari
The Bruins ride a wave of expectancy in The Six and sneak a third successive victory placing their rivals on the brink of elimination. Early pressure on the vulnerable Andersen will be one of the keys to success. Stopping Toronto’s top line again will allow the Bruins to go 3-0 up in this series.