National pride will be front of mind ahead of tonight’s game with the Boston Bruins. Along with the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens, the Maple Leafs will hold a tribute to those who lost their lives this past week in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa.
“The game of hockey touches a lot of people,” said Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle following Saturday’s morning skate. “I don’t think there’s a better to way to show their respect and tribute to the people who lost their lives and defend our country than having that front and centre."
Jonathan Bernier makes his third consecutive start in goal tonight. The Leafs netminder picked up his first win of the season on Long Island this past Tuesday. He sports a .956 save percentage and 1.44 goals against average over the last two starts.
While unconfirmed, it’s expected the Leafs will once again go with seven defencemen to combat the Bruins offence.
Boston will counter with Tuukka Rask in goal tonight. Rask has dominated against Toronto, posting a career 9-2-0 record with a .943 save percentage and 1.64 goals against average.
The Leafs spent much of Saturday’s morning skate working on faceoffs.
“They’re always 60%-plus by the end of the year it seems in the faceoff circle,” said Carlyle of Boston centres Patrice Bergeron and David Krecji. “We’re going to have to be on our toes in the faceoff circle that’s for sure.”
In the absence of Zdeno Chara (out four-to-six weeks with a knee injury), Zach Trotman is expected to help fill the void. The young defenceman has played in two NHL games and will make his season debut tonight.
Leafs projected lines