Preview: Bruins, Leafs Focused on Must-Win Game

As the Toronto Maple Leafs prepare to take on the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, both clubs are will be looking to grab a big two points from their Atlantic Division rivals.

Toronto Maple Leafs, Frederik Andersen
Frederik Andersen and the Maple Leafs will look to get back on track following two big losses. (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Now, some might question whether or not this is a must-win game with well over 30 games left in the season. However, when it comes to the divisional playoff race, this game could be the difference between postseason hockey and another year of being on the outside looking in.

As it stands, the Leafs three points behind the Bruins for the final divisional spot with five games in hand. The Bruins are also just two points behind Ottawa for second in the Atlantic, but the Senators also have five games in hand on Boston.

For the Bruins, this will be a big two points in helping them put distance between them and the rest of the pack. For the Leafs, they control their destiny when it comes to making the postseason – a win on Saturday in Boston will certainly help them out.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins

TD Garden – 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CBC, CITY and NESN

2016-17 Season Series:
October 15 – Maple Leafs 4 – Bruins 1
December 10 – Maple Leafs 4 – Bruins 1

Toronto Maple Leafs – 23-17-9 – 55 Points

Road Record: 11-9-6

Hot Players: Nazem Kadri, Mitch Marner and Nikita Zaitsev

Key Injuries: Joffrey Lupul

Projected Lines:


Zach Hyman-Auston Matthews-William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk-Nazem Kadri-Mitch Marner

Leo Komarov-Tyler Bozak-Connor Brown

Matt Martin-Ben Smith-Nikita Soshnikov


Morgan Rielly-Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner-Connor Carrick

Martin Marincin-Roman Polak


Frederik Andersen

Boston Bruins – 26-22-6 – 58 Points

Home Record: 12-12-0

Hot Players: Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and David Krejci

Key Injuries: Patrice Bergeron

Projected Lines:


Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano-David Krejci-David Backes

Matt Beleskey-Ryan Spooner-Riley Nash

Tim Schaller-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes


Zdeno Chara-Adam McQuaid

Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo

Colin Miller-Kevan Miller


Tuukka Rask

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Originally drafted by the Leafs in the first round of the 2005 draft, Rask has spent his entire career with the Bruins. In 23 games against the team that picked him 21st overall, he has a record of 15-4-2 with a 1.93 goals against average and .932 save percentage.

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins, NHL
Brad Marchand has been the hottest Bruin of late and has impressive career numbers against Toronto. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The duo of Marchand and Bergeron have scorched the Leafs over their careers. Marchand has 25 points (12g-13a) in 31 regular season games against Toronto while Bergeron has 52 points (20g-32a) in 58 games against his long-time rivals.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Leafs. They hold a 295-260-98-11 record with the Leafs actually outscoring the B’s by 10 goals over that span (1,970 to 1,960). However, the Leafs hold a perfect 2-0-0 record so far this season against the Bruins outscoring them 8-2.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]With the game against the Leafs, Marchand will pass Bill Cowley (508) for 48th on the Bruins all-time list for games played. Krejci needs just one goal to tie Jerry Toppazzini (148) for 28th on the franchise’s all-time goals list.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]With one goal against the Bruins, van Riemsdyk will pass Billy Harris (106) for 49th on the Leafs all-time list. Morgan Rielly will also tie Brian Glennie and Jim Morrison (110) for 24th on the team’s all-time list for defensive scoring with just one point on Saturday.

While the Leafs have given up 10 goals over the last two games, Saturday marks the perfect time for the club to get out of their post-All-Star break slump. A win over the Bruins could get people talking playoffs once again with the young club in desperate need of some confidence moving forward.