2013 NHL Playoffs: 5 Keys to Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Series
Keys to the Boston Bruins Beating the Toronto Maple Leafs
The Boston Bruins open up a best-of-seven first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. The first two games will take place on the Bruins home ice at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass., in front of 17,565 screaming fans.
The Bruins finished out the regular season with the ability to enter the playoffs with the No. 2 seed, but fell in their last two regular season games which slid them to the No. 4 seed and matched them up against the Maple Leafs. Not many fans are complaining about the matchup, as it was likely the best of the three possible teams they could’ve played.
Maple Leafs’ forward, Phil Kessel likely knows the TD Garden better than most of his teammates, as he was once a Bruin. Kessell, the key player in the deal that acquired the draft pick which was used to draft Tyler Seguin, was once a fan favorite in Boston. Since leaving the Bruins, the fans haven’t been happier. Although he is the Leafs’ leading scorer, the addition of Seguin has brought fans to screaming his name and loving his ability. When the Leafs visit the Garden on Wednesday night, you can bet the fans will be screaming and chanting, “thank you Kessel.”
For the Bruins to move past the Maple Leafs in the first round and continue to fight for a Stanley Cup, they need to play as a team that wants it. There are five main keys to them defeating the Leafs, let’s take a look at them now.
The Boston Bruins started off the season scoring goals with ease, but more recently have struggled to put the puck in the net. If the Bruins want to contend for a Stanley Cup this season, they will need to score more goals. Their top point scorer this season, Brad Marchand, needs get back on track after only tallying two goals in his final eight games of the regular season.
Even if the Boston Bruins can put the puck in the net, Tuukka Rask will need to be outstanding in net. All the teams who have made the postseason have the ability to score goals and will be firing the puck at the Bruins net. The Vezina Trophy candidate will need to be on top of his game come this postseason.
Zdeno Chara and Jaromir Jagr will be one of the biggest keys to the Boston Bruins run towards their second Stanley Cup in three years. Jagr is the owner of two Cups, both with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and will bring that veteran presence the Bruins need to make it all the way. Chara, who won a Cup with the 2010-11 Bruins, will need to be the Captain of this team and lead them into battle.
Both Chara and Jagr will need to keep the youngsters on the team in line and keep their heads on straight, so they can focus on how to win and put the plan in action.
Win at Home
The Boston Bruins enter the playoffs with a No. 4 seed, giving them the home ice advantage. They will need to take advantage of playing inside their own barn at the TD Garden and win the home games. If they win at home, playing on the road will become much easier and the wins will come with them.
Play Like You’ve Been There Before
The Toronto Maple Leafs are making their postseason return after playing golf at the end of April and beginning of May since 2004. The Boston Bruins have been there many times over the past nine seasons and will need to play like they have. The Leafs may enter overwhelmed by the postseason atmosphere and the Bruins will need to take advantage of that and play like they have been here before.