After an emotional victory in Game 5, the Toronto Maple Leafs will now attempt to duplicate that feat again tonight. The Leafs were powered by a spectacular performance on Friday from James Reimer, but asking him for those kind of heroics again will be tough. Toronto needs a better all around effort as the Bruins essentially dominated Game 5 after the opening frame. If their play is a continuation from the third period that saw the Leafs just barely hanging on, Toronto fans are not going to be pleased with the results.
Here are a couple of keys to tonight’s game.
It seems like this topic has been constantly talked about throughout the series, but it’s something the Leafs have relied on all season. Clarke MacArthur has done a great job of finding the back of the net in two straight games after being a healthy scratch, but Mikhail Grabovski and Nazem Kadri need to start doing the same. Grabovski has been playing well and generating chances, however, Kadri’s efforts haven’t been as inspiring. The youngster who made great improvements this season has seen his ice-time slide in the last two games and played only around 10 minutes in Game 5. He has to be a factor if the Leafs have any chance of coming back in this series.
Slowing Down Krejci
The Leafs really need to slow down Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic as well, but David Krejci is the catalyst for the group and stopping him seems to hinder the other two. When Toronto has done a good job of keeping Krejci at bay, they have two wins to show for it. When the skilled centre has been a force though, Toronto has lost all three of those games. Shutting down that line should once again be the difference in winning or losing tonight.
The Leafs had the benefit of putting John-Michael Liles in for the injured Mark Fraser, but the Bruins are starting to get thin on the blue line. Wade Redden is questionable tonight after missing Game 5 with an undisclosed injury and Andrew Ference is out after not making the trip to Toronto with an ailment of his own. If Redden can’t go then the Bruins would have to dress Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton. Their inexperience is something the Leafs have to take advantage of.