Video: Bruins’ Boychuk fights after leveling Leafs’ Grabovski


Emotionally speaking, Wednesday was a really rough evening for plenty of Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-1 Game 1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Mikhail Grabovski might feel the worst physically, however. He suffered from a questionable Andrew Ference elbow and also this big hit from Johnny Boychuk, who dropped the gloves soon afterward:

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Grabovski played through the pain, though.

Discuss: Bruins rudely welcome Leafs back to playoffs


Wednesday represented the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first playoff game since 2004. The Boston Bruins made them look like a team that hasn’t been to the postseason in nearly a decade, beating them 4-1 in a game that might have been even more lopsided than the scored indicates (due to goals that were disallowed, among other factors).

Let’s get the discussion rolling:

  • So, was this mismatch more about how strong the Bruins really are at full-strength or how flawed the Maple Leafs might be?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how poorly do you think Toronto fans and media will react to this game?
  • Speaking of which, who will get the most blame: Phil Kessel, James Reimer, Dion Phaneuf or someone else?
  • Food for thought on Reimer: some of the goals he allowed were pretty bad, but the young goalie did face 40 shots. On the other hand, he’s been struggling lately. How long is his leash in Toronto?
  • One Buds player who did have a nice night was James van Riemsdyk. He fired five shots on goal, including an early 1-0 marker. Will he be a factor in this series?
  • Some Leafs fans critiqued Toronto’s “truculent” tendency to dress more than one enforcer. Should Randy Carlyle change that tactic?
  • Name some positives for the Maple Leafs. Optional choice: “It’s just one game.”
  • Does this lopsided win strengthen the argument that Boston is a championship contender? Discuss the Bruins’ chances of winning it all once more.

Video: Bruins’ Ference elbows Leafs’ Grabovski


Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference might draw some attention from the league office for this elbow on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski, which happened in the first period of Game 1 on Wednesday:

Referees must have missed the hit, as Ference didn’t receive a penalty on the play.

The 34-year-old has had his moments of controversy, perhaps most memorably when he “accidentally” offered an obscene gesture to Montreal Canadiens fans. He’s also delivered a few questionable hits, leading the National Post’s Bruce Arthur to provide a stern assessment of the blueliner:

It’s been a rough start to the game for Grabovski, so we’ll make note of whether he misses some time or not.

Nathan Horton returns for Bruins

Nathan Horton, Dale Weise
1 Comment

The Boston Bruins look like a different team in Game 1 of the 2013 playoffs than they did during the last day of the regular season.

As expected, Jaromir Jagr returned from his flu-like symptoms. To the surprise of some, the B’s made Dougie Hamilton a healthy scratch while Nathan Horton returned from an upper-body injury that resulted from a Jarome Iginla fight.

Horton, 27, has dealt with a series of concussion issues in the last few seasons, so Boston’s front office likely attempted to be as cautious as possible with the big forward.

While he can be a hot-and-cold guy scoring-wise, Bruins fans likely remember several big goals from the team’s 2011 Stanley Cup run. As a pending unrestricted free agent, Horton has plenty of motivation to score some more.

One depth bit: Rich Peverley has also been scratched for Kaspars Daugavins.

Bruins decide to scratch Dougie Hamilton


The Boston Bruins have eased Dougie Hamilton into the mix in his rookie season, but Claude Julien apparently isn’t that comfortable with throwing the 19-year-old defenseman out there against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1.’s Joe Haggerty reports that Hamilton will be a healthy scratch on Wednesday.

Hamilton scored 16 points while averaging a little more than 17 minutes per night in 42 games this season.

The Bruins laid out their six-man defensive rotation, in case you want to bicker about who “should” have sat out today’s game instead:

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Adam McQuaid-Wade Redden

As you can see from this Tweet, the Bruins are definitely trumpeting experience: