For the first time this season the Bruins will face a Northeast Division rival when former Bruin Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the T.D Garden. While the Bruins are struggling to pick up wins, the same can’t be said for Toronto. Coming into tonight’s matchup with the B’s, the Leafs are 4-0-1 and lead the Northeast Division over Buffalo by one point.
Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Puck Drop: 7 p.m.
TV: NESN Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
2010-11 Series: Maple Leafs 4-2
2011-12 Series: Tied 0-0
Expected goalie matchup: Tim Thomas vs. Jonas Gustavsson
What to watch for (Bruins)
Today the Bruins sent defensemen Matt Bartowski down to the AHL. With the designation of Bartowski, and Adam McQuaid still not ready to come back, it looks like Steven Kampfer will suit up for the first time this season. Kampfer has not played since being injured in a preseason game.
David Krejci who missed the last three games with a core injury could return to the lineup tonight as the Bruins top center is a game-time-decision. Regardless if Krejci can play or not tonight, the Bruins lines will be a little different then what we have seen thus far in the early stages of the season. It will be interesting to see how the lines look once the puck drops.
There are 10 Bruins currently on the roster who have yet to score a goal. In a season so far where the Bruins have struggled to put the puck in the net, the Bruins can’t afford to lack secondary scoring. Look for a few Bruins to pick up their first goals of the season tonight.
What to watch for (Maple Leafs)
Phil Kessel has been the best player in the NHL so far. Kessel leads the NHL in points (12), and goals (7). We all know the struggles that Kessel has had against his former team, (six points in 12 games) but the Bruins need to keep it this way if they want to hand Toronto its first regulation loss this season.
Gustavsson makes his first start of the season tonight. With the way the Leafs have played this season and Gustavsson in net, it’s important for the Bruins to come out and bring it to the Leafs early on.
The Maple Leafs played last night, a come from behind shootout win in Toronto over the Winnipeg Jets. The Leafs could come out of the gate sluggish tonight, another reason why a quick start for the B’s would be huge.
Bruins Gameday links:
Bruins need to find a cure for their “Stanley Cup Hangover” (Stephen Harris/Boston Herald)
Nicholas Goss of The Bleacher Report takes a look at some Bruins players who need some improvement.
New England Hockey Journal’s Jesse Connolly takes a look at the new Bruins lines
Maple Leafs Gameday links:
Due to injuries, Nazem Kadri’s trip back down the NHL has been put on hold. (Lance Hornby/ The Toronto Sun)