We are three hours away from the biggest game the Toronto Maple Leafs have played in nine years, and to help us preview the game and gain perspective from the Boston Bruins‘ side of things, I employed the help of one of our FanSided brethren. Andrew Thompson is the editor of Causeway Crowd, FanSided’s Boston Bruins blog, and I sent him three questions over email which he answered graciously.
Much has been made of the Bruins’ struggles lately. What do you think has been their biggest problem and how can they go about solving it?
Their biggest problem (in my opinion) is that they have a nasty tendency to take their foot off the gas in a game. The Bruins have given up games in the third period by not playing a full sixty minutes. Can they solve this problem? The Bruins have to make a conscious choice not to take a game for granted. This is the playoffs, and hopefully they understand that now.
Which forward do the Bruins need to get going offensively to have success in this series and why?
The Bergeron line (Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin-Brad Marchand) is our main production line. Our fourth/Merlot line, (Gregory Campbell-Daniel Paille-Shawn Thornton) have also done well this season. The one player we need to get back into this game is Milan Lucic. He has been lethargic compared to past seasons, and found himself as a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie year. The last few games we’ve seen him get back into the swing of things, but we’re going to need his physicality, and his overall presence if we’re going to hand the Leafs their heads.
Which former Leaf or Leaf draft pick is going to break our hearts this time?
Back in 2006, the Leafs were looking for someone that could handle being a number one goaltender. So, during the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, they got Raycroft in exchange for their first round draft pick, Tuukka Rask. At the time, Rask was only twenty years old and was named the top goaltender of the 2005 World Junior Championship. (Raycroft had a disappointing .879 save percentage in the ’05-’06 season with a 3.71 goals against average and just eight wins in 30 starts.)
It was just another embarrassment of riches delivered to us at the hands of the Toronto front office. We’ve been known to chant “Thank You Kessel!” (I’ll be surprised if we don’t hear that tonight.) We should be chanting “Thank You Raycroft!”
So there you have it, a Boston Bruins blogger brings up a trade from seven years ago to try to chirp Leafs fans. Maybe next time he’ll taunt the Leafs for missing out on signing Bobby Orr in the late-60s. Harmless banter aside, I’d like to thank Andrew for taking the time to answer the questions and be sure to check out the great content they’re churning out over at Causeway Crowd. And feel free to tell him how wrong he is about everything in the comments.