The Maple Leafs are hungry for today’s Game 6 of their first-round NHL playoff series against the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Arena (3 p.m.).
“They looked like they enjoyed breakfast, had a good night’s sleep and are ready to go,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said in a brief news conference before the game. If they win, they’ll advance to the second round for the first time since 2004 and face the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“We’ll be ready when the puck drops. It took something like, what, 51 minutes … to score last game … We had a road mentality, we kept grinding, so we’ll have the same approach today. It doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of (the crowd support) in our own building, but we have to take care of the puck and make smart decisions.”
Boston eliminated Toronto from the playoffs last spring and in 2013.
Defenceman Jake Muzzin, who won a Stanley Cup with Los Angeles 2014, said the Leafs must “protect this house” in Game 6 on home ice — a mind frame Babcock supports.
“Yeah, play in their zone,” the coach said. “We talked a lot about this, spending as much time in the offensive zone as possible. It makes the game more fun. But when the puck’s in our zone, be patient. (The Bruins) are a good team, so take care of the puck, take care of details, and you’ll be OK.”
More to come.
Mark Zwolinski is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @markzwol
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