Boston Bruins (52-17-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (37-32-8)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 3, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs +129 / Boston Bruins -142 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Maple Leafs look to keep their faint playoff hopes alive on Thursday night when they host the Eastern Conference leading Bruins at the ACC.
The Bruins played one of their best games of the season last night against a very desperate Detroit Red Wings team who were very undermanned and had a lot of their former AHL players on the active roster but it was the home side who prevailed by a 3-2 final. The Bruins are without question the best team in the East this season and while the Penguins are within striking distance it looks like the B’s will take down the top seed in the Conference and challenge the Blues for the President’s Trophy. Boston’s season ended it dramatic fashion last year as they gave up two goals in 17 seconds late in the third period of game six of the Cup finals which ultimately gave hockey’s top prize to the Blackhawks in what was certainly a memorable game for all involved. Boston has a chip on their shoulder and has been playing like it all season and now they have a great chance here to effectively end Toronto’s playoff chances with a road win at the Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs were a shoe in for the postseason three weeks ago as they held on to the third overall seed in the East and trailed only tonight’s opponent from Boston in the Atlantic division but an inopportune eight game losing skid not only dropped the Leafs out of third but out of the playoff picture altogether. Toronto still has an opportunity to make the postseason and redeem their losing ways but it’ll be a very tough challenge and they’ll need plenty of help in the process as they are not in control of their own destiny and have played more games than the other teams chasing the final spots. The Leafs ended their losing skid against the Flames in their last game and while it wasn’t pretty by any means it was two huge points and I think it will be a building block for the rest of the season. These two teams hate each other with a passion and a number of players involved have bad blood and while it is clear who the better team is I think the more desperate of the bunch gets the win and that is the Leafs who are a nice home dog.