Monday, May 6, 2013
Last change gives Leafs matchup edge
By Joe McDonald
TORONTO -- Now that the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs has shifted to the Air Canada Centre, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle will be able to get the matchups that best suit his team.
In the first two games of this series in Boston, every time the Maple Leafs top line was on the ice, Bruins coach Claude Julien made sure defenseman Zdeno Chara was, too. Now that Toronto gets the last change in their building, the Maple Leafs will try to avoid Chara as much as possible.
"He's obviously a pretty big force," said Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak. "He's going to play against the top guys every night as much as he can. He's got such a long reach and he's so strong and he's obviously one of the better defensemen in the league, so whenever you get a chance out there, when he's not out there, you've got to try to make something happen. At the same time, he's going to make some mistakes during the game and you have to make sure to take advantage of the times that he does."
With defenseman Andrew Ference back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension in Game 2, Julien will likely reunite Chara and defensive partner Dennis Seidenberg. That shutdown pair stifled Toronto's attack -- and in particular Phill Kessel -- in Game 1.