Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/22/13 at 03:41 PM ET
By Eli Epstein of TiqIQ,
The 2012-2013 shortened NHL campaign has been one of the most competitive seasons the Northeast division has experienced in the past decade. As of Friday, four teams (the Canadiens, Bruins, Senators and Maple Leafs, in that order) are separated by 10 points or less going into the dog days of the season.
The Leafs and Bruins will square off on the front end of a home-and-home series Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Average prices for the tilt are $281, which is six percent higher than the $266 average of Maple Leafs tickets in Toronto this season. On the bright side, tickets are down 17 percent this week and fans can attend the game for as low as $75 per seat. Overall, this is the most expensive Bruins-Leaf matchup in Toronto this season.
After a surprisingly robust start to the season, the Leafs have begun to slide, losing six of their last 10. Goaltending and defense have been a problem, with the team allowing over three goals in all six defeats. Up next, this weekend and next week, are two crucial matchups with the second place Bruins, who hold a 2-0 series lead this season over Toronto.
It’ll pain Leafs fans to know that the team will be without star Joffrey Lupul for Saturday night’s tilt with the B’s. Lupul has been suspended two games by the league for an illegal hit to the head of a Lightning player in Wednesday night’s game versus Tampa. Lupul, in two games since returning from injury, had scored three goals.
Boston has also found it’s lineup hobbled by injury, losing starters Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid this month. Away from home ice this month, the team is a disappointing 2-4. General manager Peter Chiarelli could be active in seeking a third-line center and a stay-at-home defenseman before April 3’s trading deadline.
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