TORONTO – The Bruins hold a 2-1 series lead over the Maple Leafs, but they are not completely satisfied with their game.

Coach Jim Montgomery said the focus during Friday’s practice at Scotiabank Arena was to continue improving in all areas as they aim to extend their first-round advantage on Saturday night.

“Re-emphasizing our details and habits we need to get better at,” Montgomery said of his points of emphasis after having a day away from the rink on Thursday. “We need to continue to get better in the series. I don’t think our transition to defense, transition to offense is as fluid as we would like it.

“What I like is the captains brought it to my attention, they were concerned about it too. I’m glad where our leadership is and where our mindset is.”

Bruins captain Brad Marchand made sure to stress the pivotal nature of a Game 4, which could end with the series tied up at two games apiece or have the Black & Gold returning home with a chance to close out the series on Tuesday night.

“Game 4 is a huge one,” said Marchand. “Going up 3-1 or coming back home 2-2, that’s a drastic change in the series. The desperation for both teams should be extremely high, which normally makes it an intense game. If we expect to win that, we’re going to have to have by far our best game of the series.

“We know they’re gonna compete harder than they did the last few games and they were good, they were competing extremely hard. They’re playing very physical, they’re not giving us a ton. We have to continue to battle and improve. I said this before, but they’re not the same team. They’re extremely tough to play out there. It’s not fun game by any means.

“We’re going to have to continue to elevate. They have the ability to do that. They have enough superstars and guys that can take over games. We know that they’re gonna be better and they’re gonna continue to improve like they have and we need to do the same.”

Marchad talks after Bruins practice in TOR

DeBrusk Embraces Postseason

Jake DeBrusk is the first to admit that his regular season did not go as smoothly as he would’ve liked. While the winger tallied 19 goals and 40 points in 80 games, he felt he had more to give.

As such, he couldn’t wait to turn the page to the postseason, where he’s had plenty of success in years past.

“At the end of the year, I was just waiting to get to this, to be honest with you,” said DeBrusk, who has 25 goals and 41 points in 76 career postseason contests. “I don’t know if I necessarily took it as a clean slate that things were gonna go well. It could go the other way, this is not easy and it’s only gonna get harder.

“You’ve got to stay focused and determined and understand the goal is that I had. I used it just as an opportunity. I think we all do. Every player, in big moments, wants to have success and continue that.”

DeBrusk has had particularly strong success against the Maple Leafs in the postseason, tallying nine goals and 14 points in 17 career playoff games vs. Toronto. The nine playoff goals against the Leafs are tied with Marchand and David Krejci for the third-most in Bruins history, behind Phil Esposito (11) and Johnny Bucyk (10).

“I don’t know…how I feel about it is we played against these guys now, for me, it’s been three times in playoffs series,” said DeBrusk. “There’s been some big-time battles in them. There’s different players, different things, so I wouldn’t say it’s anything consistent because I think the make-up of their team is different than even [2019], which felt like forever ago. That reminds you of certain things when you come and play in the playoffs against them no matter what.

“My first playoff series against them gave me confidence, but in saying that there’s different weapons and there’s different things. I don’t look into it too much. But I’ll try everything I can to keep it going.”

DeBrusk talks after practice at Scotiabank

Maroon Settling In

While Game 4 will be just his sixth time suiting up in the Spoked-B, Pat Maroon has already made a significant impact both on the bench and in the dressing room. The veteran winger has served as another leadership voice, while providing plenty of thunder on the ice, including making his displeasure known to the Maple Leafs after Max Domi knocked Jeremy Swayman to the ice during a TV timeout in Game 3.

“Patty’s great in the room, on the bench, just the emotion he brings,” said Marchand. “He’s so good at calming things down when emotions get high. Playoffs momentum swings are such a big part of it. He’s very good at making sure we stay even keel, picking us up when we get down and calming us down when we get up. He’s been a great addition to the group.”

Maroon said that he has focused on staying true to his style of play.

“It’s been great, just trying to play my game, whatever that is,” said Maroon. “Just trying to fill a role, play my game, win my battles on the wall, make those little plays in the O-zone and D-zone, try to hold on to pucks. Feeling pretty good right now. Still getting in the flow of things. It’s only gonna be my [sixth] game here coming up, so just gotta keep pushing and grinding through it.”

The 36-year-old said he has enjoyed playing alongside Johnny Beecher and Jesper Boqvist on Boston’s fourth line.

“Beecher and Boqy are really good players,” said Maroon. “I think people forget they have some pretty good skill, they can skate. They have really good hockey IQ and read the play really well. It’s been an easy transition for me.”

Maroon talks after B's skate in TOR

Wait, There’s More

  • Danton Heinen (maintenance) did not participate in Friday’s practice at Scotiabank Arena.
  • Derek Forbort and Justin Brazeau were both, once again, full participants in practice as they continue to progress towards being potential options. “Getting closer,” said Montgomery. “I don’t think we’re comfortable at the point yet to be able to play them. Brazeau’s still a ways [away]. Forbort’s probably close than Brazeau. There’s so many steps – there’s a conditioning step and then there’s a confidence step.”
  • Montgomery said he has made his decision regarding Saturday’s starting goaltender, but would only say, “We’re following the plan we had set in place.”
  • Marchand said he did not necessarily think an extra day between Games 3 and 4 was particularly beneficial when it comes to having added time for preparation. “This time of year, you just want to play,” said Marchand. “Nobody wants to practice. Everybody just wants to play games. That’s what playoffs is all about. Practice days, they just delay what we want to get to and the excitement. It’s good to be able to get out there and get some touches but we want to play.”

Montgomery talks after practice in TOR

Friday’s Practice Lineup


Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Morgan Geekie

Jake DeBrusk – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak

James van Riemsdyk – Trent Frederic – Jakub Lauko

Johnny Beecher – Jesper Boqvist – Pat Maroon

Justin Brazeau


Mason Lohrei – Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo

Parker Wotherspoon – Kevin Shattenkirk

Derek Forbort – Matt Grzelcyk


Jeremy Swayman/Linus Ullmark

Russo goes 1-on-1 with Brad Marchand during Round 1