The Bruins not only knocked them out past year, but also in a devastating seven-game series their previous playoff matchup, in 2013. The series begins this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and the game will take place in the TD Garden, as the Bruins secured home ice advantage for the first round. This is a big rivalry though against this team for the last couple of years.
Judging off head coach Mike Babcock's comments from Tuesday, things may end up not being that different. Now they have to try and get back on track against a team that has been the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference. Some of those losses in life - some of those little hardships - are the best thing for you. "That's where they excel, just playing and allowing their skill and talent to take over". "You don't like the feeling". Leading the Bruins in scoring has been David Pastrnak with 38 goals, while Brad Marchand is 2nd with 36.
"We have another opportunity", Babcock said. "We have to get it behind them and play down low". We're a good hockey club.
His presence down the middle coupled with the chemistry developed alongside Mitch Marner presents a potential "pick your poison" scenario against Boston.
Montreal became the last team eliminated from playoff contention on Friday when the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout. The Maple Leafs come into this game having lost 10 of their last 14 games, including their last three games in a row. After all, the recipe for success is a very simple one. "We want to focus on the future and what we can do from this moment on". In that game, Toronto led 4-3 in the third period before succumbing to the Bruins.
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John Tavares is one key Maple Leaf who has no connection to last year's playoff collapse against the Bruins. But the Bruins have often eroded that effort, in regular season and in last year's seven-game opening round series. "Now the real fun starts". The Bruins also won a seven-game series in 2013, when they rallied from 4-1 down in the third period of Game 7 to win in overtime. "I think there's been certainly changes to each team and additions and subtractions, the familiarity of the styles of play, but it's going to come down to the performance". They know what we're about and we know what they're about. "We really believe we're going to be prepared, we've got a lot of people back".
"Don't do anything silly". Granted there is history because of the playoff series but you can not compare it.
Matthews and Marner's team, the Maple Leafs, are set to play the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday. Toronto is no question the faster team, but the physical play could really have an affect on slowing them down and creating turnovers. "But we played some unbelievable hockey, we deserved to be in the playoffs".
The Leafs will soon find out if that's indeed the case.