The Boston Bruins head into Air Canada Centre tonight without the services of defencemen Zdeno Chara. While that may seem like good news, it becomes an issue we will focus on in today’s edition of Three Keys.
Don’t Get Complacent
The Bruins are a team that performs well under tremendous amounts of adversity.
“When teams have a hole like that, they seem to know that they’ve got to step up and try to fill that void,” Leafs assistant coach Steve Spott said about the loss of the star Bruins defenceman. “We know how passionate they are, how well coached they are, how deep they are and I’m sure that’s going to be a tough task, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Chara has been a thorn in the side of the Leafs throughout his career. In his absence, there should be more room for Leafs forwards to get to the net. This includes Nazem Kadri.
Patrice Bergeron is always a threat. While the Leafs are finding success in faceoffs this season, Bergeron leads the league in faceoff percentage among qualified players.
Pass It to Phil
In the Leafs' victories over the Bruins last season, Phil Kessel has been instrumental, scoring three points in one victory and two points in another. Riding the momentum of his first two-goal game of the season, Kessel’s offence becomes a must.
Traffic on Tuukka
Tuukka Rask has established himself as a premiere goaltender in the NHL. But, he has a tendency to fly off the handle if he gets stressed out. The Maple Leafs must get bodies in front of Rask to get him off his game. That will likely be David Clarkson’s game for the majority of his shifts.