Round One Discussion - Toronto

The Napkin

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Game 1 @ BOS - Thursday April 12, 7 pm
Game 2 @ BOS - Saturday April 14, 8 pm
Game 3 @ TOR - Monday April 16, 7 pm
Game 4 @ TOR - Thursday April 19, 7 pm
Game 5 @ BOS - Saturday April 21, TBD
Game 6 @ TOR - Monday April 23, TBD
Game 7 @ BOS - Wednesday April 25, TBD
 

FL4WL3SS

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I'm pretty annoyed they couldn't get one more win for the easier schedule. Going to be a tough road and it seems they've hit a rough patch and the injuries caught up with them.

At least getting to the next round will be that much more satisfying.
 

RedOctober3829

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They at least get to sit back and get 3 consecutive days off for the first time in over a month. They are still the better team in this series.

Here's the national TV schedule for the first 4 games of the series. First round series as always are on NESN as well.

Game 1 Thursday at Boston 7 pm NBCSN
Game 2 Saturday at Boston 8 pm NBC
Game 3 Monday at Toronto 7 pm NBCSN
Game 4 Thursday at Toronto 7 pm NBCSN
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
I love the way NHL.com has now buried the standings link so as to (I assume) obscure the idiotic relationship between the regular season and the 'bracket' constructed from the meaningless divisions.

(Had to get that off my chest. I feel better now, let me put my tin-foil hat back on the shelf...)

In any case, if they win it this year nobody will accuse them of having an easy path to the cup, that is for sure.
 

veritas

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They at least get to sit back and get 3 consecutive days off for the first time in over a month. They are still the better team in this series.
True, but it's basically a coin flip vs Toronto, and would have probably been 75/25 odds to beat NJ. That's pretty huge, it's the difference between having to lose one coin flip and two coin flips.
 

RedOctober3829

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True, but it's basically a coin flip vs Toronto, and would have probably been 75/25 odds to beat NJ. That's pretty huge, it's the difference between having to lose one coin flip and two coin flips.
Fair enough. I would have rather had NJ too. But the Devils have a lot of speed to deal with and Taylor Hall has been playing at a MVP level since he got there.
 

cshea

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Coin flip seems about right, we are probably looking at a 7 gamer. Here’s some cumulative numbers from the 4 head to head matchups this year.

All situations:

Shots: 127-118 Boston
Attempts: 236-228 Boston
Scoring chances: 123-121 Boston

5x5

Shots: 103-98 Boston
Attempts: 187-178 Boston
Chances: 93-85 Toronto

Slight edge to the Bruins, but it really isn’t significant. Each team has a 4-1 win against the other, then the Leafs were in the right end of two 1 goal games, one in OT.

This may come down to special teams. Toronto scored 5 PPG’s against the Bruins, so staying out of the box and an improved PK will be important.
 

veritas

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I wonder if they had to re-attach a piece of his ear. 40 stitches and this much time missed seems like a lot for a simple ear laceration
 

DrewDawg

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Coin flip seems about right, we are probably looking at a 7 gamer. Here’s some cumulative numbers from the 4 head to head matchups this year.

All situations:

Shots: 127-118 Boston
Attempts: 236-228 Boston
Scoring chances: 123-121 Boston

5x5

Shots: 103-98 Boston
Attempts: 187-178 Boston
Chances: 93-85 Toronto

Slight edge to the Bruins, but it really isn’t significant. Each team has a 4-1 win against the other, then the Leafs were in the right end of two 1 goal games, one in OT.

This may come down to special teams. Toronto scored 5 PPG’s against the Bruins, so staying out of the box and an improved PK will be important.

Should be close series of course, but 2 of the 4 Bruins/Leafs games came in November (on a back to back as well), before the Bruins became THE BRUINS.
 

RSN Diaspora

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With van Riemsdyk, Kadri, Matthews, and Marner all in the top ten for first period goals this year, I really hope we get away from this "Playing from behind" theme...
 

TheRealness

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With van Riemsdyk, Kadri, Matthews, and Marner all in the top ten for first period goals this year, I really hope we get away from this "Playing from behind" theme...
Toronto in general is one of the better 1st period teams in the NHL. I fear we are going to have the majority of games where the Bruins are behind early. If they do it all series long, they will be playing golf in two weeks. If they can prevent themselves from getting behind early, then they should be able to stave them off.

This one should go 6-7 games. My guess is the Bruins defense gives them an edge over the Toronto D, but it's tough to say. The goalies will have a huge effect on this series. Anderson was 9-0-0 against the Bruins at one point, and Rask has not been as good as he can be against them.
 

cshea

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Leafs likely lineup-

Hyman - Matthews - Nylander
Marleau - Kadri - Marner
JVR - Bozak - Brown
Komarov - Turtlenec - Kapanen

Reilly - Hainsey
Gardner - Zaitsev
Dermott - Polak

They are really deep at forward, but the defense can be shaky. Bergy line gets the Matthews line.

Also- lineup wise for the B’s, with the Nash’s and Kuraly skated to return, B’s have a decision to make at forward. Gionta and Wingels come out for the Nash’s. Kuraly or Donato?
 

joe dokes

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Here's as good a reason as any to kick their asses:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/bruins/2018/04/09/marc-savard-responds-writer-who-criticized-how-handled-end-his-bruins-career/IJrT6Sj1Lesd5SkQAobdPK/story.html?event=event12

Former Boston Bruins center Marc Savard has spoken out against the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons for the writer’s contentious comments in a recently published story.
“Marc Savard basically disappeared when his career ended in Boston,” Simmons wrote. “Media called. Nobody answered. Now suddenly Savard is a media guy. My advice: If he calls, don’t answer.”
 

timlinin8th

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I wonder if they had to re-attach a piece of his ear. 40 stitches and this much time missed seems like a lot for a simple ear laceration
The 40 stitches were reported to have been both outside and inside the ear so as best as I can guess it tore clean through at least some part of it.

Also- lineup wise for the B’s, with the Nash’s and Kuraly skated to return, B’s have a decision to make at forward. Gionta and Wingels come out for the Nash’s. Kuraly or Donato?
My guess, Kuraly. Donato isn’t really what Cassidy is going to be looking for from the fourth line - if there isn’t a spot on the top 3 lines for him (which if both Nashes are playing there won’t be) then have to think he’ll be sitting. Kuraly helps on the PK which the Bruins are going to need with Toronto’s PP as well.

Tough shake for the kid but with the full roster he’s the odd man out. I don’t even know if he’ll be the healthy scratch over Wingels just based on playoff experience.
 

veritas

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Leafs likely lineup-

Hyman - Matthews - Nylander
Marleau - Kadri - Marner
JVR - Bozak - Brown
Komarov - Turtlenec - Kapanen

Reilly - Hainsey
Gardner - Zaitsev
Dermott - Polak

They are really deep at forward, but the defense can be shaky. Bergy line gets the Matthews line.

Also- lineup wise for the B’s, with the Nash’s and Kuraly skated to return, B’s have a decision to make at forward. Gionta and Wingels come out for the Nash’s. Kuraly or Donato?
This should be a pretty interesting series when it comes to matchups. I agree, the Bruins will want Bergeron on Matthews line, and the Leafs will want Kadri on Bergeron. Both teams have a ton of forward depth, I don't think either coach will do anything differently than they did in the regular season.

The really interesting matchups for me are both teams F vs D. Toronto has nothing resembling a good defensive top pairing. Reilly is their only legit #1 guy but his value is more offensive than defensive, and all of their RHD are not good. The Bergeron line should be able to dominate them. I like Chara/McAvoy to slow down the Leafs top line when they can get that matchup. Marner and JVR worry me vs the Bruins 2nd/3rd pair though.

I think whether Donato plays depends on if the Bruins continue to use their 4th line to kill minutes and wear other teams down. If so, I think Donato is out given a healthy lineup. If the Bruins shorten their bench and lean on the top 3 lines at ES, I think they'll hide Donato on the 4th line. I don't see him playing much 5v5 if everyone is healthy. As great as he was in the OZ, he was overmatched otherwise in the regular season, and I think that only gets worse in the playoffs.
 

cshea

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Riley is not practicing today. That would seem to make it unlikely he plays tomorrow. They skated with:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusk - Krejci - Rick
Heinen - Acciari - Backes
Schaller - Kuraly - Wingels
Donato, Gionta

Chara - McAvoy
Krug - Miller
Grzelyck - McQuaid
Holden

I’ve said my piece on Donato- I’d play him and shelter him at ES. Too much offensive skill to pass up, particularly if used as a PP specialist. I don’t love Acciari as 3C, I think they’ll need some scoring depth and I hope he doesn’t suck the life out of Heinen and Backes. Acciari is a nice 4th line right wing, I’m not sure he’s a guy whose game suits playing up in the lineup. The Leafs have skill up and down their forward group, I don’t think trying to grind them out is the way to go, I think a better approach is matching skill vs. skill. But that’s just me.
 

TheRealness

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I would guess Riley may be out for the whole series, which suggests he is going to shuffle his bottom lines all series long.

I agree grinding them with the bottom two lines isn't the way to go, but as I posted (somewhere?) I feel the Acciari at 3c is more about matching their speed not skill. I don't know if it will work, but my guess is that is why he is there and Backes is not at 3C as Backes would be outskated by the Leafs.

If they lose tomorrow, especially 3-1 or something like that, I think you see Donato get the nod before Gionta. Tough to say. Riley being hurt leaves a lot of questions for the third line.
 

cshea

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Maybe, but I don’t think Acciari is much of a burner. I think they’re trying to replicate Riley’s defensive game. We’ll see. I just worry about depth scoring, I don’t want them to lean too heavily on the Bergeron and Krejci lines.

Anyways, Cassidy confirms Riley is out and McQuaid is the 6th D. McQuaid worries me, especially against a speed team, but I think it’s the right call based on his penalty killing abilities. Carlo ate a ton of PK minutes and there are no other obvious candidates to step into that role. Chara, Miller, McQuaid are going to get leaned on heavily to kill penalties, it’d be a little dicey if they were looking at Holden, Krug, McAvoy or Grz to step up into huge PK minutes.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Hoping the Bruins can make the deep playoff run I had thought the Celtics were going to make (prior to all the injuries).
 

TheRealness

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Maybe, but I don’t think Acciari is much of a burner. I think they’re trying to replicate Riley’s defensive game. We’ll see. I just worry about depth scoring, I don’t want them to lean too heavily on the Bergeron and Krejci lines.

Anyways, Cassidy confirms Riley is out and McQuaid is the 6th D. McQuaid worries me, especially against a speed team, but I think it’s the right call based on his penalty killing abilities. Carlo ate a ton of PK minutes and there are no other obvious candidates to step into that role. Chara, Miller, McQuaid are going to get leaned on heavily to kill penalties, it’d be a little dicey if they were looking at Holden, Krug, McAvoy or Grz to step up into huge PK minutes.
If there is a way to protect McQuaid 5v5, they should make every effort they can to do so. Toronto will exploit his lack of foot speed and quickness. Hopefully his work on the PK is worth it.

As for Acciari, I don't know that I really like what he's doing starting him at 3C. Still, if they lose, he will have a short leash. I just don't trust Donato at Center at this point.
 

RedOctober3829

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If there is a way to protect McQuaid 5v5, they should make every effort they can to do so. Toronto will exploit his lack of foot speed and quickness. Hopefully his work on the PK is worth it.

As for Acciari, I don't know that I really like what he's doing starting him at 3C. Still, if they lose, he will have a short leash. I just don't trust Donato at Center at this point.
W/R/T Acciari, I think he's the only option at 3C currently. Donato IMO is not ready for a regular playoff shift, Nash is hurt, and Kuraly is centering the 4th line. Backes is not a better option either.
 

TheoShmeo

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http://www.weei.com/articles/column/anderson-no-reason-ryan-donato-sit-postseason

Admittedly, while I am a Bruins fan, I don't pay as much attention to them as I do the other three Boston/NE teams.

And I've read the posts above and understand that the apparent decision to sit Donato in game one could be reversed at any time. But even just focusing on game one, it seems like a mistake in my view to sit someone with Donato's apparent scoring ability. I get the small sample aspect but in his limited time, he's shown enough to make me want him in the line-up more than Tommy Wingels, and I like Wingels.

In any event, I agree with cshea on this and think the linked article makes some good points. I think Cassidy may be overthinking this one.
 

lexrageorge

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Donato has had all of 12 games of NHL experience. And I don't think he's been asked yet to do a lot of the defensive duties that are typical of the bottom 6 forwards, as he mainly slotted in for Rick Nash. He's not going to displace Backes or Heinen, Acciari is useful in the PK, and Wingels has had success working on the 4th line. Kuraly, Schaller, and Wingels have been trusted with defensive zone starts this season, while Donato has had mostly offensive zone starts.

This can change, of course, but the B's were slumping at the end of the season, and tightening up the defensive game is not the worst way to end a slump.
 

veritas

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joe dokes

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So was it just my 'magination, runnin' away with me, or did McQuaid look pretty damn solid last night? It appeared that he played about as well as he could play. Was it a home-ice advantage-related way he was matched up? But it seemed that decisions were fast and correct, nearly every pass was crisp, and he was directing things out of the d-zone in to transition really well.
 

DrewDawg

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Probably. They thought it would be 4 games during regular season, so 2 in postseason.
 

IdiotKicker

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In theory, wouldn't you want the penalties to be steeper in the postseason because the potential for losing players because of a cheap hit has a greater impact on the other team? Just saying.
 

cshea

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You would think so, but DoPS views playoff games as more valuable so they shorten suspensions. Their formula is 1 playoff game is equal to multiple regular season games.

They are so inconsistent that it is impossible to even hazard a guess as to where the dart lands on Kadri. I’ll try though. To me, the admission from Kadri that he had retaliation on the mind when he made his run at Wingels should elevate this to 3-4 games, but I’ll be stunned if it is more than 1.
 

Reardons Beard

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So was it just my 'magination, runnin' away with me, or did McQuaid look pretty damn solid last night? It appeared that he played about as well as he could play. Was it a home-ice advantage-related way he was matched up? But it seemed that decisions were fast and correct, nearly every pass was crisp, and he was directing things out of the d-zone in to transition really well.
I thought he looked great. You can win with McPain as a bottom pairing D. What really got me going was how good Rick Nash looked. Came out flying and can only assume he'll be stronger with more time. Could be X Factor along with Rask.
 

5dice

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What really got me going was how good Rick Nash looked. Came out flying and can only assume he'll be stronger with more time. Could be X Factor along with Rask.
Agreed. He just has a different set of moves and skills (whether in front of the net or shielding the puck or coming in on a breakaway) than much of the offensively talented guys they have. Not to say that Backes isn't great in front of the net or Marchand isn't an elite puck shielder, but something about Nash feels different and completes a potent second line.