Saturday game preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins

Tomas Plekanec of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts as members of the Boston Bruins celebrate a goal at TD Garden
Tomas Plekanec of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts as members of the Boston Bruins celebrate a goal at TD Garden
Author

15 April, 2018

There may be no further clarity on the Bruins' Game 2 lineup until pregame warmups at TD Garden. Goalie Probables: Frederik Andersen (38-26, 2.81 GAA) will get the nod for the Maple Leafs and the Bruins will counter with Tuukka Rask (34-19, 2.36 GAA).

This was a controversial decision by the NHL's department of player safety, even with Kadri's checkered past and the ugly nature of his hit on defenceless Tommy Wingels in the opening game of a series with the Boston Bruins.

Also, Riley Nash is unable to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, so one might argue that the Bruins could find a spot for Donato.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Name Kadri has been suspended three games by the National Hockey League for his hit to the head of Boston's Tommy Wingels in the third period of the Bruins 5-1 win in game one at the TD Garden. That is a significant drop in talent level from Kadri, a strong two-way center. Toronto's third leading goal-scorer this season came into the playoffs fresh off his second consecutive 30-goal campaign, netting 32 for the second season in a row while ranking first on the Leafs, fourth in points (55), second in shooting percentage (15.2) and fifth in points-per-game (0.69) in 80 games this season.

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Pastrnak, and Rick Nash - a menacing crew of Bruins forwards you don't want to be squaring off against without your No. 2 centerman in the lineup.

"Didn't like the hit", Wingels said.

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"I didn't like the hit". If he's still standing up, there isn't anything wrong on that, but he fell. "Instead of avoiding or minimizing this hit, Kadri drives his hip into Wingels' upper body with enough force to cause Wingels to collide dangerously to the boards and cause himself to lift off the ice upon impact". This is a forceful and illegal hit delivered on a defenseless opponent for the goal of retribution and message-sending.

With up to a half-dozen rookies potentially in the lineup, and No. 3 center Riley Nash officially out for at least the first game of the series, the last thing you'd think the Bruins would be anxious about going into tonight's Game 1 against Toronto is the performance of their top forward line. "Where it goes from there, out of my hands". Donato's already shown serious potential by scoring nine points in 12 games despite sometimes-limited ice time.

Marchand also provided some levity in the opener when he licked - yes, licked - the face of Toronto's Komarov after the two had tussled most of the night. It's no secret van Riemsdyk will be offered a big deal after scoring 36 goals in the regular season but Bozak's next contract is still a mystery. "And I think as a collective unit, we all just looked at each other and said, 'It's time to go out there and do our thing and not be distracted by anything.' It was a pretty solid effort". "He kept coming after me after whistles and stuff like that every time he was going to the bench".

"There's not much you can do, let's just get on with it", Babcock after an optional skate at TD Garden. Game 2, we'll see how it plays out, hopefully it plays out very well.

That may well be more hard with Kadri gone.


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