Struggling Maple Leafs face Bruins in Northeast clash
BRUINS (14-8-2) at MAPLE LEAFS (8-12-4)
TV: CBC (HD), NHLN-US (HD), NESN (HD)
Boston 6-3-1; Toronto 3-6-1
This is the second of six meetings this season. Boston took the first matchup, 2-0, at home Oct. 28.
Big story: Tyler Seguin
was never a member of the Maple Leafs, but he could have been if they hadn't dealt their draft pick to the Bruins for Phil Kessel two years ago. This game will mark Seguin's first game in Toronto, and how fans react to the second pick of the 2010 Entry Draft should be interesting.
When a player doesn't contribute a point during an 8-1 win, he rarely grabs the headlines. But that was the case in Boston's blowout victory Wednesday, because it marked the first game for Marc Savard
(concussion symptoms) this season.
Savard had just 1 shot in 15:45 of ice time, but coach Claude Julien liked what he saw.
"He didn't look like he missed a beat," Julien said of his star center. "I liked his game from start to finish and his stamina was great."
After a 4-0-0 start to the season, the wheels have come off in Toronto. The Leafs may have hit rock bottom with their 5-0 home loss to the Edmonton Oilers, who have been entrenched near the bottom of the standings all season.
The Leafs have been starved for goals, scoring just 11 goals in their last 7 games. Coach Ron Wilson could try Kessel at center and drop the talented Nazem Kadri to the fourth line for this game.
"No excuses, we've got to figure out a way to get some goals," said Kadri, who has just 4 assists in 9 games this season. "I'm happy I'm getting chances, but the bottom line is that I need to put those in the back of the net."
Bruins center David Krejci
has 2 goals and 4 assists in his past 4 games. … There aren't many Leafs who are scoring, but Nikolai Kulemin has 4 goals in his last 5 games.
Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (leg laceration) remains out. Forward Mike Brown could miss up to six weeks with a broken finger.
Boston's Nathan Horton
snapped a six-game scoreless streak with a second-period assist against the Lightning. … Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas
has five shutouts, one of which came against the Leafs. Toronto has been shut out six times this season.
"I just felt like we almost quit on the goalies there a little bit and it's not acceptable. You go into the game all ready to go, the systems are all laid out and then we don't want to follow them. It's one of those things where if don't we all buy in, you know you're going to have nights like this and we didn't buy in tonight." -- Leafs left wing Clark MacArthur, following Toronto's 5-0 loss Wednesday