The Bruins had a golden opportunity to put away the Toronto Maple Leafs and become the first team in the Eastern Conference to advance into the Semi-Finals on Friday evening. Unfortunately, their momentum began to build a little too late and they wound up at the short end of the stick, losing 2-1.
The entire locker room knows what is at stake the second they set foot in the Air Canada Centre tonight for the opening face off. They have to prepare to set the tone the second the blades make their first cut into the ice and build off of that momentum if they stand a chance at owning this game and ending the series.
In order to set the tone, there is going to have to be solid efforts from every player on the Boston Bruins bench. It is no question the Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic line have been carrying the team through the playoffs along with the Merlot line. Tonight, it is time for Bergeron and company to pick up the pace and find the back of the net. For Seguin, it means taking the time to slow things down and create the plays rather than try to finagle himself through the defense and losing the puck along the way. For Marchand, it means making smart, crisp passes and then rushing to the slot for the given rebounds Reimer is bound to allow.
Tonight the Bruins will have to adjust their defensive pairings once again in the absence of Andrew Ference. Post-skating Claude Julien told the media that Ference is ‘day-to-day’ and did not make the trip to Toronto. In his spot Aaron Johnson filled in while Matt Bartkowski paired up with Adam McQuaid. Wade Redden skated with the team this morning and is listed as a game-time decision.
Expect Tuukka between the pipes once more as the Bruins try to seal the deal against Toronto once again, this time on their turf and advance to the next round. Face off is at 7:00PM ET and can be seen on NESN.