8 a.m. ET: The Bruins were simply not good for the last month and a half of the regular season. Luckily for them, however, the regular season is over and the slate is wiped clean once the playoffs begin. The playoffs begin for the B’s on Wednesday night in Boston.
The Bruins host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night in the first of a seven-game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The highly anticipated meeting between the two Original Six rivals is their first in the playoffs since 1974.
That’s just one of the many storylines between two teams who have had plenty of meetings on and and off the ice over the last few years. Toronto coming to town, once again, brings Phil Kessel back to Boston where he began his career. The 25-year-old forward had a fine season, but finding success in the postseason — especially against his former team, a team he’s struggled against — will be a huge thing to watch in this series.
As mentioned, though, the Bruins have issues of their own to worry about. The B’s ended the season on a 3-5-2 run over their final 10 games, with generating offense the glaring problem. Boston averaged just two goals per game over their final eight games, as they saw the Northeast Division title slip out of their hands in favor of the Montreal Canadiens.
The good news, perhaps, for the Bruins is that they are getting healthier. Nathan Horton may return to the lineup Wednesday night after missing the final five games of the season with an upper-body injury. Jaromir Jagr is expected to return to the lineup after missing the final two games of the season with flu-like symptoms. While Horton has been wildly inconsistent this season, getting those two back in the mix won’t hurt.
Puck drop for Game 1 from TD Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m.