Skip to content

Marchand: Maple Leafs 'built different' than past years

China Wong / National Hockey League / Getty

Brad Marchand is deeply familiar with Boston's first-round opponent, but he doesn't think these are the same Toronto Maple Leafs that his Bruins have dismantled in prior postseasons.

"They're playing a really good, playoff-type game right now," he said Tuesday. "You knew they would. They're built different than in the past years. They're playing a lot more physical, very committed to forechecking, playing very tight defensively. So, you've got to give them credit. They're one of the top teams for a reason. And then when you add their offensive ability on top of that, they're a tough team to play right now.

"We're seeing it. ... It's a very tight playoff series. We knew it was going to be a battle. They've shown up. They're playing for keeps. It's a good challenge."

Marchand has clashed with the Leafs in the playoffs three other times in his career, first in 2013 and then in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019. The Bruins won each of those series in seven games, and Marchand has totaled seven goals - including two game-winners - and 21 points in 21 contests over that span.

The veteran winger has logged three assists through two games so far in this series.

The Bruins took Game 1 in a 5-1 decision, but the Maple Leafs answered with a 3-2 victory on Monday. It's been a wildly physical affair so far, with the teams combining for exactly 200 hits. Boston holds a narrow edge with 103 hits to Toronto's 97.

Though the series is tied, the Maple Leafs have tilted the ice in their favor through the first two contests. Toronto has dictated 58.3% of the shot attempts, 68.2% of the scoring chances, 57% of the expected goals, and 65.8% of the high-danger chances at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

Marchand said he doesn't think the Bruins have played up to their full capabilities just yet.

"We can be better for sure. ... We can definitely prove our game and put a better showing out there," he said.

The series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Wednesday.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox