The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins are less than 15 minutes away from facing off at the TD Garden on Hockey Night In Canada. This is the first meeting of the season for these two teams, and the first since the Leafs lost that painful Game 7 in overtime in the first round of the playoffs last year. But you knew that already.
As I wrote in the game preview, expect another goaltending duel in this game. James Reimer of the Leafs and Tuukka Rask of the Bruins went mano-a-mano in that playoff series, but Rask was able to just barely come out on top when it was all said and done. Both goalies are off to great starts this year, putting up identical .942 save percentages.
Along with Rask, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara are infamous for their success in shutting down the Leafs’ top players over the years, most notably Phil Kessel. But Kessel broke out against the Bruins in the playoffs last year, and has continued to put up big numbers this year (10 goals and 19 points in 16 games).
His 10th goal was an absolute beauty against the New Jersey Devils last night, going nearly end-to-end, splitting the defense, fighting off a hook and firing the puck through Cory Schneider’s five-hole. The Leafs will need him to continue to find the twine tonight, because chances are goals will be at a premium with Rask in net.
Prediction: The Leafs lose this one 4-1. The Leafs still haven’t looked very good, even in the win last night, and those problems will likely bite them against a strong Bruins team.
Comment below to participate in the game thread. What’s your prediction for the game tonight? Let us know!
GO LEAFS GO!