COA News 2024


What you need to know: Round 1 | Bruins-Maple Leafs

Opposing opinion

The Maple Leafs finished third in the Atlantic Division with 102 points, seven behind the Bruins. Toronto boasts a potent offensive attack and ranks second in the league in goals per game (3.67) and seventh in power play (24.0%). On the defensive side, Toronto allowed 3.18 goals per game, which ranked 21st in the NHL. They were tied with the Predators for 22nd on the penalty kill at 76.9%.

“Offensively, they are a gifted hockey club,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said. “They offer a lot of challenges around the net front, and we will have to be very sharp there. We’re a pretty good team defensively if we stick to our principles, so I expect it to be an exciting series overall.

“Obviously their power play is very good. Our penalties have been pretty consistent all year long. Our power game needs to come back online here. Luckily we scored a goal last night to hopefully give the boys a bit of confidence.

“It will be a great challenge at all levels. A good hockey club, a good opponent. If you make the playoffs, you’ve earned a right here… and Toronto will be a really good challenge.”

Toronto is followed by a talented core group of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Morgan Rielly. Matthews led the NHL with 69 goals this season, one shy of becoming the first player to score 70 goals since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny in 1992-93. His 107 points ranked sixth in the league, three points behind Pastrnak.

“A lot of skill, a lot of ability and a lot of competition,” McAvoy said of Matthews. “And it’s going to be a big challenge for us moving forward.”

Nylander, meanwhile, was in 10th placee in the NHL by scoring with 98 points (40 goals, 58 points), although he missed Toronto’s practice on Friday and his status for Game 1 is in doubt according to media reports. Marner was 22NL with 85 points (26 points, 59 assists). Tavares finished fourth on the Maple Leafs in scoring with 65 points (29 goals, 36 assists) and Rielly fifth with 58 points (7 goals, 51 assists).

Former Bruins forward Tyler Bertuzzi ranked seventh in team scoring with 43 points and fifth in goals scored with 21.

“We can’t turn the pucks over and force plays,” Bruins winger Pat Maroon said. “We can’t let them get into the transition game. They do a good job behind the nets and soft plays, so we’ve got to find ways to limit that, limit their time and space and be harder on their skills, guys, and find ways to just limit their time.

Toronto’s Friday practice lineup:


Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – Max Domi

Matthew Knies – John Tavares – Mitch Marner

Nick Robertson – Pontus Holmberg – Calle Jarnkrok

Connor Dewar – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

Noah Gregor


Morgan Rielly – Ilya Lybushkin

Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe

Joel Edmundson – Timothy Liljegren

Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie

Cade Weber – Connor Timmins


Ilya Samsonov

Joseph Wol

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov handed over the baton with a 23-7-8 record, .890 save percentage and 3.13 goals against average in 40 games. Joseph Woll was 12-11-1 with a .907 save percentage and 2.94 GAA in 25 games.

“I think both teams are very energetic,” B’s blue liner Brandon Carlo said. “We obviously both have a lot of passion as Original Six teams… the way we’re going into it thinking it’s going to be a physical series at different points, it’s going to be a skilled series at different points, it’s going to be a rough series become . There will be small components of each part. I think whoever can best adapt to the other team’s playing style will come out of this and win.”