Leafs get down to business before Thursday's Game 1 showdown against Bruins


For Boston, they face a team that has had the better of them over the past couple of seasons but on paper at least, the Bruins arguably have the better of the Leafs.

So they trailed at each of the first two intermissions, first by a goal after the first and then by two goals after the second.

"Last year's playoff run did a lot for us just for confidence", said Brown. "It was four in the morning, we were watching". In their last game, the Ottawa Senators lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins by four on the road, 4-0.

While the cast of characters has changed drastically on both sides, the ghosts of that epic collapse linger as the Leafs prepare to visit the Bruins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal Thursday. "We were making some mental mistakes and stuff but I think the effort was there from the beginning until the end".

Instead the next hour or so mushroomed into the most hard moment of his career. The club has three lines with their own 30-goal scorer.

Henrik Borgstrom, Frank Vatrano, Maxim Mamin and Evgenii Dadonov scored for Florida. "I like clam chowder so I'm happy to go to Boston".

He was a young player on the rise the last time the Leafs and Bruins met in the postseason back in 2013, and five years later he's an established all-around player. He finished the season with 35 goals, a career high, 45 assists, a career high for 80 points, a career high. "It means you're good, so you've got to be able to handle it".

But recognizing the team needed support, the Leafs' brass brought in a pair of veteran free agents over the summer in winger Patrick Marleau and defenceman Rob Hainsey before adding centre Tomas Plekanec prior to the trade deadline.

The loss of Komarov won't grab the same attention created by Bozak or van Riemsdyk's departure but it will be noticeable in next season's lineup. They have a game against the Sabres at home against the Sabres on Saturday and by the time that game is played, they could very well be eliminated from the playoffs as the Flyers have a home game against the lowly Rangers earlier in the day.

That history will be a reference point throughout the course of the series, as a large contingent of Boston's 2013 squad (Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug and Tuukka Rask) make up the current club's core group, while Toronto has gone through a significant roster upheaval after finishing last in the National Hockey League in 2015-16. David Pastrnak kicked off the scoring for the Bruins near the halfway point of the second period.

"Winning leads to winning", said Toronto head coach Mike Babcock, who took over in 2015.

The Boston Bruins failed to capitalize on a chance to take first place in the Eastern Conference in Sunday's regular season finale against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. The Panthers were right behind the Bruins in the standings, although it didn't seem like it with their 39 points compared to Boston's 50. "(Our) body of work speaks for itself".

"That's why you play the game, you want to play to win and to be at your best. It's a game of inches".

All-time the series is in a deadlock, 34-34-1 record.

Averaging more than 18 minutes on the ice per game, Matthews played at a pace that would've had him surpassing last year's goal total of 40.

"Anxious to get going", Kadri said. "We just have to live with this for a few more days". He will sing through the last home playoff game this season.

"Mitchy might have still been in middle school", he joked, referencing Marner's youthful appearance.

"I thought today we got better as the game went on and we really started playing our game, our style, our system and it showed on the scoreboard", Bergeron said.

"Water under the bridge".