With the Maple Leafs looking to avoid an 0-2 hole before the series shifts back to Toronto Monday night for Game 3, the Boston Bruins are expecting their first round opponent to come out with desperation in Game 2 Saturday night at the TD Garden.
After only tallying 21 shots in Game 1, many fans expect the Leafs to play with desperation from the opening whistle until the final horn. Those thoughts were also echoed by the Bruins after today’s morning skate.
“They’re going to come out extremely hard tonight,” said Brad Marchand. “It’s a huge game for both teams. We both want to make sure we get this one tonight, so it’s going to make for a battle for sure and we want to make sure we’re prepared for their effort tonight.”
Despite winning Game 1 against the Washington Capitals in the first round last season, the Bruins couldn’t keep their foot on the pedal and eventually fell in seven games. This year, they hope for a different result against a tough, but inexperienced playoff team.
“They’re going to come out strong,” stated Rich Peverley, who was a healthy scratch in Game 1. “[Game 1] was their first playoff game for a lot of the guys, so it’s going to be a really tough game tonight. They’ve proven that they are a hard team to play against all year.”
“I’m sure they are going to come out harder,” added defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. “They got that first playoff game out of the way, and I’m sure that they are going to come out harder. So we just have to be ready for that and just come out as hard or [more] harder than them.”
But just because they have the advantage on paper, doesn’t mean the Bruins can ease up their game plan, even slightly.
Just look at last night’s Penguins-Islanders game for proof. Despite a returning Sidney Crosby, and a 3-1 first period lead, the Isles came back for a 4-3 victory and tied the series at 1-1.
His team bounced back in Game 1 after slumping at the end of the 2013 regular season, but Claude Julien knows that his team can’t get too ahead of themselves.
“You just have to look around the league and see what’s going on, a lot of series are tied 1-1. There’s nothing to get cocky about, or confident about, you just got to play every team the way you thought you would play that first one,” said the Bruins coach.
“We know they’re going to be a better team tonight, this not a secret to anybody, but we have to be better ourselves.”
The Leafs are a team that can get rattled pretty easily and the Bruins need to keep them on their heels for 60 minutes. Any glimpse of hope, otherwise, could turn the direction of the entire series.
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