There is a lot of hype surrounding tonight’s Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs game. Why, you ask? Simple, Auston Matthews is a goal-scoring machine and the media is all over it, so much in fact that NBCSN has decided to change their entire airing schedule around to air a CANADIAN hockey team’s home opener. Apparently after the debut Matthews had, they will gladly flex his team in over the Sprint Cup Series: Hollywood Casino 400, Final Practice, which is what was scheduled to air in that time slot. This isn’t even the base of it, he’s been grabbing media attention from almost every news source. ESPN, the Today Show, everyone has heard about the nineteen year-old Arizona kid making himself known on the ice, and the Bruins are no different.
“[Toronto] has got a good up-and-coming team. That’s not a surprise to anybody. They’ve done a good job of drafting lately, and they certainly decided to develop those players and give them some opportunities,”Claude Julien told media reporters, “They’re well-coached, they’re going to compete hard all night long, they’re going to be on top of you and they’re a good skating team. So it’s an opportunity for us to face a good challenge [Saturday night] and try to build off that first win.”
Patrice Bergeron is still sidelined with an injury sustained in practice this week with no update expected until later today. However, with David Backes, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak lighting the lamp all night long, it’s safe to say that Bergeron can take some extra time to heal and come back 100%. While the Bruins have a consistent top line for scoring, the concern for tonight is going to be defense.
Adam McQuaid, who is also listed as day-to-day, has not been cleared for tonight’s match up, meaning the young core of defensemen remain in tact. In Thursday nights meeting in Columbus, the defense didn’t really get their legs under them until ater the first period. This is something that is going to have to change tonight if they don’t want to be chasing Leafs up and down the ice. From the drop of the puck the Bruins are going to have to be ready to stop Matthews and company and keep the pressure on Toronto.