The Boston Bruins are getting set to square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in game four of their first round series. The Leafs were able to battle back into the series and take game three 4-2. The Bruins still played effectively in this game but were unable to capitalize on some key chances. The Bruins will look to put forth a full 60 minute effort tonight.
The top line was held pointless in game three but they certainly had a slew of chances and this time they’ll cash in on them. The Bruins were still able to rip 42 shots on net but Andersen was with them every step of the way. I won’t deny that the Maple Leafs played better in this game but the Bruins loss wasn’t because of their poor effort. Sure they had a slow start but they were still in this game the whole way and if a couple bounces go their way they might end up winning that game.
Now on to game four, The Bruins will likely have Grzelcyk back in the lineup which should help them cut down on some of those stretch passes the Leafs were making in that third game. Grzelcyk is a better skater than Holden and was steady in the first two games of the series now he returns and boosts the back end of the B’s. The Bruins should be able to make adjustments from game three to game four and now be able to stump the Leafs plan of attack.
The biggest advantage for the Leafs returning home is last change. Keeping Auston Matthews away from Bergeron is the best thing for the Leafs. Now Bergeron’s line is matched with Plekanec’s group and although Plekanec helped hold that line pointless the B’s top line still had plenty of chances and I’m certain they will cash in on them in game four. The Bruins will also need some more depth scoring if they are to make that deep run this year. Especially if the top line has a tough night again.
In net Rask played well and kept the Bruins in the game most of the night, hard to blame him for the four goals he let up. Multiple odd man rushes and an open man in front on the PP. Not really his fault, he made 26 saves on the night and will look to stymy the Leafs tonight. Andersen had a much improved game and made 40 stops, he also got much better team defense from the Leafs and was able to keep the lead thanks to some large stops. The Bruins took advantage of the Leaf’s defense in the first two games and if they can get back to that in game four the Leafs will be in hot water.
Now that the Leafs have found their offense these games should be closer and more interesting. With both teams displaying their offensive talents the next few games will rely on team defense and goaltending.
Tonight’s matchup should be fun, with both teams getting a couple days for rest I’m sure there will be a rapid start to this game and some early scoring. Fresh legs can do wonders for teams and both teams were happy to have the extra day. Grzelcyk seems to be the only change to the Bruins lineup and the Leafs haven’t altered their lines at all.
Looks like it will take five games for the Bruins to beat the Leafs. My prediction for tonight is a 5-3 Bruins win with Marchand picking up a hat trick. Puck drop is at 7:00 on NESN and NBCSN.
– Written By Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)