Game Day Preview: Bruins at Maple Leafs
As the Boston Bruins were victors in their fifth consecutive game Monday night against the Devils 4-2, it wasn’t all good news for the Black and Gold.
After Tuesday’s practice head coach Claude Julien announced that center David Krejci will not make the trip to Toronto and Montreal as the first line center continues to nurse a hip injury. Kevan Miller will be making the trip with the team and has been practicing, but he hasn’t been cleared for contact according to Julien and most likely will not suit up the next two nights.
This is nothing new for the Bruins as they continue to grind through their never-ending list of injuries. Torey Krug made his return Monday night from his broken finger and played the second most minutes among the B’s defensemen only behind Dougie Hamilton.
The Black and Gold will look to keep the momentum going after their victory against the Devils – led by Patrice Bergeron and the second line – as they face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.
On Boston.com: Second line continues to gel
Led by a three-point effort by Dougie Hamilton (one goal, two assists), the B’s took the first meeting of the season between the two teams in Toronto, 4-1.
Here is your complete Bruins-Maple Leafs Preview:
Gametime: 8:00 PM
TV/Radio: NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 10-6-0, 20 points/Maple Leafs 8-5-2, 18 points
Location: Air Canada Centre
Bruins’ projected lines:
Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-Seth Griffith
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Matt Fraser-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Simon Gagne
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Joe Morrow-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Zach Trotman
Maple Leafs’ projected lines:
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel
Daniel Winnik-Nazem Kadri-David Clarkson
Leo Komarov-Peter Holland-Mike Santorelli
Richard Panik-Trevor Smith-Josh Leivo
Dion Phaneuf-Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner-Roman Polak
Morgan Rielly-Stephane Robidas
Who to watch for Bruins: Reilly Smith
After having a dry spell through mid to late October, Reilly Smith has started to come alive for the Bruins. In his last seven games, Smith has recorded seven points (two goals, five assists). In his last three games, Smith has compiled two goals and three assists with a plus-3 rating. The second line has produced crooked numbers lately and Smith is in the middle of it all, along with Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
It’s a great time for Smith to get going especially with Krejci on the mend. The 23 year-old winger looks more confident out there as of late. He’s finding his teammates easier, he’s crashing the net more and he’s most importantly finishing on his scoring opportunities.
Smith has a three-game point streak and the way his line is playing of late, that could climb to four games tonight. He recorded an assist and three shots the last time they met the Leafs back on October 25th.
Who to watch for Maple Leafs: James van Riemsdyk
The 25 year-old winger has recorded 11 points in 15 contests this season. JVR currently has a five game point streak, with two goals and three assists over that span. The stat that sticks out the most is his minus-3 rating during his point streak.
In his last matchup versus the Bruins, van Riemsdyk was a non-factor. He had zero points, two penalty minutes and recorded just one shot while sporting a minus-1.
The October game was the first time the B’s were playing without Zdeno Chara, but the B’s had a game plan for him and it will most likely be the same due to van Riemsdyk’s ineffectiveness. The former University of New Hampshire product may have been a non-factor in their first game of 2014, but adjustments will obviously be made and Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg and company need to take notice.
Game day Edge: Don’t look ahead to Montreal
Everybody knows who the Bruins play after tonight. As a matter of fact, the players do, too. But, they cannot overlook a talented Maple Leafs team.
The Maple Leafs have won two in a row with victories over the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers. The B’s need to keep their focus on the task in hand and worry about P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens after tonight’s game.
Of course the Black and Gold have Thursday’s game on the calendar highlighted after their loss this season already to the Habs, but Julien needs to tell his team (which he will) to take it one period at a time and one game at a time.
The B’s have a lot of momentum heading into tonight and they want to keep that going with a nice sound victory over the Maple Leafs in their own building before heading into a hostile environment over at the Bell Centre.
Game day video:
Relive what the Bruins had to say following their 4-2 win over the Devils on Monday night.