Toronto are in need of a minor miracle ahead of the fifth match of their 2017/18 National Hockey League playoff campaign. The Maple Leafs find themselves 3-1 down and a Boston victory will eliminate the Canadian outfit from the Stanley Cup race. On current form, it is hard to back against the Bruins – they have been a class above in recent weeks.
Boston have outscored Toronto 17-7 in the four playoff games so far and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see the Bruins run riot once again. Losing on home ice has made a Toronto series victory very difficult indeed and plenty of punters will be piling on Boston ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
Playoff fixtures are often difficult to call but the Bruins have shown their class in recent weeks and another win beckons. The Maple Leafs have the quality to force a sixth game but Boston will want to get the series wrapped up at the first possible opportunity. Check out our thoughts on this upcoming contest below…
Brilliant Bruins – Best In The NHL?
Boston are up there with the strongest teams in the National Hockey League on current form and it would take a brave man to back against them in their pursuit of Stanley Cup glory. They have the recent experience at championship level and Bruins fans will be starting to dream of another prestigious accolade. Write them off at your peril…
KEY MAN: Brad Marchand. He led the team during the regular season and Marchand has carried that form into the playoffs. With two goals and five assists in four games, he is in the form of his life and plenty of punters will be expecting Marchand to lead Boston to glory.
When he plays well, Boston tend to play well and he can be their difference maker once again this weekend. The Bruins are blessed with talent in all positions but Marchand is the standout player on this roster.
Maple Leafs Won’t Give Up Without A Fight
Mike Babcock’s men are on the verge of elimination but Toronto won’t roll over and allow Boston a straightforward passage into the next round. The Maple Leafs are a proud team and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Toronto do a job on Boston on home ice. Some have accused the Bruins of being overconfident ahead of this clash and the Canadians may profit from that.
Whatever happens, Maple Leafs supporters should be proud of their team’s efforts in 2018 – it has been a real journey. Toronto can challenge at the top in the near future and a win here will prove just how resilient and strong they can be.
KEY MAN: Frederik Andersen. Named Toronto’s regular season MVP, the goaltender has struggled to inspire confidence during the playoffs. Yes, the Bruins have a very strong attack but the Maple Leafs goaltender has made a few blatant errors. A .855 save percentage at this level just doesn’t cut it and he must improve for Toronto to stand any chance of victory.
An early goal for Boston could send the home fans into party mode. There will be an aura of expectation around TD Garden this weekend and you cannot blame Bruins supporters for expecting success here. Toronto have struggled to contain their opponents in all four games during the playoffs and another tough contest awaits. Watch this space, Toronto could go all out for the win but that may play into Boston’s hands. It should be an exciting affair.
BRUINS 5-2 MAPLE LEAFS