The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs rematch between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple has not tuned out how many predicted. The Boston Bruins opened the series dropping game one at home with a disappointing 4-1 loss. Game two with a more determined Bruins team who planned physical was able to wear down the Leafs in a 4-1 victory to even up the series. The Leafs would respond in game three with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at home to retake command of the series 2-1. The Bruins now enter a must-win game four on April 17.
Last season both teams would battle it out in another classic Boston Toronto series. The Bruins would take a 3-1 series lead and the Leafs would end up battling back to even the series. The Bruins would end up overcoming a three-goal Toronto lead to win the series at home. Last series the Bruins were able to wear Toronto down with their physical play. This is the style they need to play with.
Boston Bruins Physicality is the Key to Winning the Series
Leafs Speed Too Much For Boston
Realistically Boston cannot play like they did in Game Two every night no team can it takes a lot out of you physically. However, they cannot play like Game One not showing up and letting the Leafs use the stretch pass to get up the ice. Game Three was frustrating because the Bruins were not as terrible as Game One however, they need to set it up and fast. The Leafs find themselves in control with a pivotal Game Four set for tomorrow.
Toronto Beats Bruins At Their Own Game
The last game it was Toronto who took a play out of the Bruins playbook and used their physical play to overwhelm Boston. Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin caused David Pastrnak to have another frustrating rough night. Pasternak was never able to get going because whenever he passed the puck Muzzin would lay huge body checks the whole night. The Bruins need their 1st line to start lighting the lamp. Last series they were the main reason why Boston won. The Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pasternak line combined for 14 points.
Bruins Need To Make Adjustments
One option coach Bruce Cassidy has is to switch up his lines and make a chess matchup with Mike Babcock. So far in the series, Babcock has used John Tavares and Jake Muzzin to stop the Pasternak line. After the game Coach Cassidy was asked if he would change up the lines. Cassidy drove home the point that he will keep the lines intact and that he expects his first line to start scoring and contributing again.
Can Boston Turn The Series Around?
Now, this is a risky strategy because the Bruins need to win Game Three to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole and it’s time to shack things up. One way to change the lines would be depending on if Marcus Johansson plays is to move him up to the 1st line. Johaansson has playoff experience from playing with Washington superstars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The ideal lines would be Marchand, Bergeron, Johnasson, Debrusk, Krejic, Pasternak, Heinen, Coyle, Backes and Nordstrom, Acciari and Wagner.
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