2013 NHL Playoffs: Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Series Preview

Jared Wickerham

Joyfully taking a quick break from paper writing to do hockey writing!

After almost two years of living in Boston and almost four months of dating a hard-core Bruins fan, I felt like this was the probably best series for me to preview. I also watched most of the Bruins games this season, I've visited Stanley Cup of Chowder a few times and made some friends (go visit; they're really friendly!), and I even went to a Bruins game this year vs. Devils (on my birthday, no less). So probably no surprise that my EC team in Boston. Woohoo!

The Numbers

Boston Bruins Toronto Maple Leafs
Record 28-14-6 (62) 5th 26-17-5 (57) 9th
GF per Game 2.65 13th 3.02 6th
GA per Game 2.12 3rd 2.67 17th
5-on-5 SF/60 32.4 2nd 26.3 28th
5-on-5 SA/60 28.6 13th 32.3 27th
Faceoff % 56.4 1st 50.0 15th
PP % 14.8 26th 18.7 14th
PK % 87.1 4th 87.9 2nd
Top TOI 24:56 Zdeno Chara 25:10 Dion Phaneuf

The Bruins: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Playoff-Related Links from SCoC:

Eastern Series Previews

Bs-Leafs Series Preview

Bruins PK

Know a Dumb Leaf: Cody Franson

Top Players: Forwards

Jaromir Jagr is their fancy new acquisition. I went to the first game he played at the Garden, and it was pretty cool. He's such a phenomenal player, and he's definitely going to play an important role for the Bruins during the playoffs.

Patrice Bergeron (just back from his most recent concussion).

Brad Marchand (everyone likes to focus on how ratty and obnoxious and chippy he is, but he's actually quite talented and productive, and he was the Bruins leading scorer in the regular season).

Tyler Seguin (32 points in 48 games).

Milan Lucic (who hasn't been playing all that well recently and needs to get his crap together, but has traditionally been a big part of their offense; leads the team in PIM).

Nathan Hornton.

David Krejci (one of those guys you've probably heard of, but don't know much about; he's been pretty productive this year and is third on the team in points).


David Krejci

#46 / Center / Boston Bruins

6-0

177

Apr 28, 1986



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2012 - David Krejci 47 10 23 33 +1 20 0 0 5 93 10.7

Top Players: Defensemen

Zdeno Chara (fun fact: Chara is 17" taller than me without skates, and 20.5" taller than me with skates; 2nd on the team in PIM).

Dennis Seidenberg (an impressive +18 on the season).

Johnny Boychuk (strikes me as a Kevin Klein kind of player; I never really notice him and he doesn't score too much, but he has the 3rd most TOI on the team, so he must be doing something right).

Andrew Ference (...I don't have anything interesting to say about him).

Top Only Players: Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask (GP: 36 // SV%: 0.929 // GAA: 2.00)

Anton Khudobin (GP: 14 // SV%: 0.920 // GAA: 2.32).

Anyone We Know?

Rich Peverley! Ex-Pred went to Atlanta, and then was picked up by Boston. He's basically playing in the same role there as he did here.

Tuukka Rask, sorta. We saw his brother, Joonas Rask, play a few games for Nashville at the end of the season.

Strengths

They have a lot of talented goal scorers, and they're a pretty physical team. They also have a great agitator/scorer combo in Brad "Nose Faced Killah" Marchand. They can move the puck really well and Chara loves to bomb it from the blue line. Their PK is very good, as Chara (much like Hal Gill) is about 15 feet tall and basically just lays down and no one can get in the zone. Chara does lead the Bruins in PIM though...

Weaknesses

They just kinda slid on into the playoffs, which isn't very good, as you'd much rather go in with that fighting-for-every-inch kind of attitude. One thing that has been impossible not to notice is that the Bruins have been really good at losing their composure towards the end of a game and allowing the other team to score a last-minute goal or two. The Preds nap in the second period; the Bruins nap in the third.

The Maple Leafs: Pension Plan Puppets

Playoff-Related Links from PPP:

Kessel vs. Great Players

Why Tyler Seguin Sucks

Why Shawn Thornton Sucks

Top Players: Forwards

Phil Kessel is quietly leading the team with 52 points and 20 goals.

James van Riemsdyk was acquired from Philly for Luke Schenn last year; he's really done well with his new team and everyone in Toronto seems happy with him.


James van Riemsdyk

#21 / Left Wing / Toronto Maple Leafs

6-3

200

May 04, 1989



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2012 - James van Riemsdyk 48 18 14 32 -7 26 5 0 3 140 12.8

Nazem Kadri has 44 points, 18 goals, a hat trick, and is +15 on the season.

Joffrey Lupul has only played 16 games this year, but he has 18 points in those games.

Tyler Bozak is a hockey player... I don't know much about him, but he's their fourth most productive forward so he's probably someone to watch out for!

Top Players: Defensemen

Dion Phaneuf (consistently one of the top defensemen around the league; leads the team for TOI), and then a bunch of names I've never heard before but I'll list anyway.

Michael Kostka

Carl Gunnarsson

Jake Gardiner (the other top three defensemen in terms of TOI)

Top Players: Goaltenders

In James Reimer's career against the Bruins (9 games), he has gone 4-4-1, with a .917 SV%. He's played 33 games this year and came out of the regular season with a 0.924 SV% and a 2.46 GAA.

Ben Scrivens is Toronto's backup goalie, but he basically split the load with Reimer, playing 20 games and ending the season with a 0.915 SV% and 2.69 GAA.

Anyone We Know?

Cody Franson! Fruit Cup is doing pretty well in Toronto. He has the 4th most points on the team (29) and is averaging a little less than 19 minutes per game.

Strengths

From what I gather, Toronto is a very young team. They've got some very skilled players (Kessel, Lupul) and some very physical players (Colton Orr, who leads the team in PIM), and some of both (Phaneuf). When everyone is on the same page, they can really perform well. Toronto's goaltending has always been a problem, but it's gotten much better this year and James Reimer has been very good.

Weaknesses

While their youth is certainly of some benefit, it also seems like it could be detrimental, as experience is a very important part of the playoffs. They've also been a little streaky this year, and not every line seems to always be firing at the same time, which makes it difficult to be successful consistently. Toronto also gives up many more shots than they take, something Predators fans are very used to... that could end up being problematic.

Staff Choices

Writer Pick Comments
Dirk Boston The Bruins are the team Toronto wants to become, but in the meantime Boston will eliminate the Leafs with extreme truculence.
Sam Boston Dougie Hamilton and Tyler Seguin will combine to posterize Phil Kessel in the series-winning goal.
Caroline Boston I'll say Boston, but they have been choking a lot recently, which is concerning. They will win if they get it together. Bs in 7.
Jonathan Boston Sorry, Leafs fans, the celebration won't last long. Bruins wrap it up in 5.
Chris Boston My girlfriend, God bless her, knows one thing about the Bruins: they like to mix it up. She has officially christened the Boston as "Thug Life" and I can't bet against that! Milan Lucic has had a very bad year, but will be the X factor in the playoffs. Bruins in 6.
George Boston The Bruins are a more complete team, and Toronto doesn't stand a chance if Boston can hold Phil Kessel off the score sheet. Bs in 6.
Jason Toronto Leafs in 7. Just because.

Bruins vs Maple Leafs TV Schedule

Date Time (CTL) Location TV
Wednesday, May 1 6:00 p.m. Boston CNBC, CBC, RDS
Saturday, May 4 6:00 p.m. Boston CNBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, May 6 6:00 p.m. Toronto CBC, RDS, NHL Network U.S.
Wednesday, May 8 6:00 p.m. Toronto CBC, RDS, NHL Network U.S.
*Friday, May 10 6:00 p.m. Boston CBC, RDS
*Sunday, May 12 TBD Toronto CBC, RDS
*Monday, May 13 TBD Boston CBC, RDS
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