NHL Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins | Game 1

Boston, MA – The Toronto Maple Leafs finished the 2023-2024 regular season third-place in the Atlantic and enter playoffs with a round-one series against the Boston Bruins. The Leafs come into the series as the underdog and will look to show a playoff style of hockey tonight and throughout the series. The Leafs and Bruins rivalry goes back quite a ways, with both teams looking to prove themselves with the ultimate goal of a Stanley Cup.

  • TV: Sportsnet
  • Radio: TSN 1050
  • Time: 8:00 PM ET

Head to Head:

This past season, the Bruins came out on top in all four games they faced off against the Leafs, with two of the games being regulation wins and the other two needing extra time. The Bruins historically have had the Leafs number in the playoffs, most recently winning against the Leafs in 2013, 2018, and 2019, but the Leafs will look to change that streak. The Bruins play a team game and ultimately find a way to grind out wins, regardless of their roster depth, while the Leafs will look to have their offensive skill outweigh their defensive mistakes.

Leafs to Keep an Eye on:

  • Much of the talk will be about whether William Nylander suits up or not, as he missed practice yesterday and the morning skate this morning. Nylander historically has been a performer for the Leafs in the playoffs, and coming off of a career year, he will look to be a difference-maker in this series whenever he should enter it. Nylander’s offensive skill and creativity are impressive, and he will look to push past the Bruins’ depth as they focus on defending the Matthews line.
  • Ilya Samsonov is projected to be the starter tonight based on his warmup routine this morning and ultimately showed resilience this season. After losing a job with the Leafs, Samsonov reset and fought back this season having a much better second half of the year compared to his first. Samsonov helped the Leafs make it to the second round last year and will look to do the same this year. Samsonov needs to stay mentally engaged in the game and fight back with the mentality that brought him success in the second half of the season.
  • Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi were both brought in for the role they can play in the playoffs. Both forwards are offensively skilled and will go to bat for their teammates. Domi and Bertuzzi have really found chemistry with Matthews on the top line and will continue to show that tonight while not letting anyone get away with roughing Matthews. Keep an eye on the Bertuzzi and Domi duo tonight as they look to show why they were signed.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ITRnathanbondy.

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