Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday storylines: Duchene vs. Turris

We’ve got a dozen games on the schedule Saturday, including a pair of afternoon games, one of which is being played in Sweden. Let’s dive in.

HNIC Game of the Night: Maple Leafs at Bruins

We’re going with the Leafs and Bruins as Saturday night’s featured game, for a couple of reasons. First, by using it here we don’t have to worry about having it show up in the “From the Archives” section, meaning we don’t have to revisit this or this. Honestly, that’s kind of the main one. Whoever said “time heals all wounds” was never a Maple Leafs fan.

But even putting all that unpleasantness aside, Saturday night’s game looms as an intriguing one. It’s the back half of an old school home-and-home series played over consecutive nights. Last night, the Leafs beat the Bruins in overtime. Now the Bruins get their chance at revenge.

Both teams have steered through an up-and-down first month of the schedule. The Leafs have more to show for it, thanks to a hot start and a solid last week that balance out a rocky two-week stretch in late October. They’re sitting at 11-7-0, and while even their wins tend to feature uneven performances, holding down second spot in the Atlantic behind only the powerhouse Lightning seems like a reasonable result.

The Bruins are off to a slower start, having lost more games than they’ve won. At 6-5-4, they look like a playoff bubble team, which is essentially what they were last year. But given their injury troubles so far, they’ll probably take it. They’ve been without David Krejci, Tuukka Rask and David Backes among others; Brad Marchand returned Friday night after missing two games with an upper-body injury.

(The Maple Leafs are dealing with an injury issue of their own, of course, with Auston Matthews missing time this week. He’s not expected to play Saturday.)

So it’s the beaten-up Bruins against the still-figuring-it-out Maple Leafs in a matchup between longtime rivals fighting for the same playoff spot. And that fight may have gotten tougher over the last week, since one of their fellow Atlantic contenders just made a few headlines of their own…

>> Read the full post at Sportsnet

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