Bruins look to make it three-in-a-row as they face off against the Maple Leafs on Monday Night.
By: Mike Grinnell
After a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night, the Bruins will look to make it 3 wins in a row, as the 10-8-1 Bruins face off against the 7-10-4 Maple Leafs, once again, on Monday night, in the second part of a home-and-home for the two clubs.
Tuukka Rask held down the fort for the Bruins on Saturday night, stopping all 22 shots he faced, while James Reimer, stopped 36 of 37 letting in a bomb for Zdeno Chara. Brad Marchand also added an empty netter for the Bruins, in route to their 2nd win in a row, to make them 10-8-1 on the year.
“I think it is a good win, and I think the last game was a good win too. I think we’re, we keep using the word consistency. I think it’s a real good win. We’ve just got to keep trying to play the same way night after night.” Coach Claude Julien told reporters after Saturday night’s win. “If we play that way every night, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win. So it’s about trying to bring that on a consistent basis.”
The Bruins have had a problem putting together a 60 minute effort all season, Coach Julien attributes the last two wins (Wild, Leafs) to his team finally playing a complete game.
“We have to keep that focus for 60 minutes.” Said Coach Julien. “We have had some good starts to games this year. But when we lost we haven’t been able to keep the focus for the whole 60 minutes. We have to do it for the whole game vs. spurts.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs sit at the bottom of the Atlantic division with 18 points, only a mere 3 points behind the Bruins. Though the Bruins have two games in hand on the Maple Leafs, the team is taking this home-and-home with the Leafs very serious.
“We talked about it before the game that it’s kind of a mini-series, playoff series. We’re against them, we know they’re right behind us.” Bruins Goal Tuukka Rask told reporters after Saturday night’s victory. “Today was a big game and on Monday I’m sure they’re going to come even harder at home, it would be great to get another one just to get some lead way but it’s going to be tough.
Toronto’s head coach, Mike Babcock, stressed his team’s need to control the puck and win in the face off circle after Saturdays loss. “We haven’t had the puck for two games. Two games in a row the other team has absolutely dominated us in the faceoff circle in the first period. We have to be better.” Leafs coach told Mike Brophy of NHL.com “We spend too much time in our own zone chasing the puck around instead of winning faceoffs and getting to play in the offensive zone and wearing their team out. If you waste any more than 15 seconds in your own zone then you are not getting offensive zone time.”
After the recent change in lines, and the recent success, don’t expect much of a change in the line up for the Bruins, especially with the recent success of the new-look third line, featuring Joonas Kemppainen in between Brett Connolly and Ryan Spooner.
“Kemper [Joonas Kemppainen]’s been really strong in the middle, and also I find he’s starting to get his confidence offensively, making plays and holding on to the puck a little longer, and all those kind of things.” said Coach Julien. “And I think Spoons [Ryan Spooner] has really done a good job on the left wing there, adapting to it and using his speed, and a lot more involved in the last two games, and that’s what we need out of Ryan. And that’s a sign of a young player really who’s getting it. He wants to be better, so kudos to him. And then Conns [Brett Connolly] is the same almost every night. He’s just a hard-working, big, strong winger who can skate and shoot the puck.”
BRUINS Projected Lines:
Matt Beleskey – David Krejci – Loui Eriksson
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jimmy Hayes
Ryan Spooner – Joonas Kemppainen – Brett Connolly
Zac Rinaldo – Max Talbot – Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara – Zach Trotman
Dennis Seidenberg – Colin Miller
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
MAPLE LEAFS Projected Lines:
James van Riemsdyk – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias – Tyler Bozak – PA Parenteau
Peter Holland – Byron Froese – Joffrey Lupul
Michael Grabner – Nick Spaling – Brad Boyes
Jake Gardiner – Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin – Roman Polak
For the best coverage of the NHL and the Boston Bruins Follow @MikeGrinnell_ and check out his blog onESPNNHRadio.com. Also tune into the ESPN New Hampshire Bruins Pregame Show an hour before game time.
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)