Every Bruins-Maple Leafs matchup is intrinsically a valuable affair due to the teams’ status as division rivals. This year, while the teams may be somewhat mismatched, each game means a little bit more than that — since it’s not so often that a team can help their chances of getting the first-overall pick by actually winning.
With Boston possessing Toronto’s 2011 first-round pick as part of the Phil Kessel trade, every point that Toronto fails to gather means that the Bruins are a step closer to landing an elite NHL prospect — perhaps even a Tyler Seguin-type talent.
The Maple Leafs didn’t look very cooperative during the season’s first week — starting out 3-0 — but since then, they have lived up to their billing as one of the league’s worst teams, going 5-12-4 in their subsequent 21 games. With that mark, they are tied with the Florida Panthers for third-fewest in the league, but are three better than the New Jersey Devils and five clear of the New York Islanders. 22-point Edmonton is also expected to compete for the league-worst mark, but most expect the Devils to climb out of their terribly slow start — meaning that the Bruins seem likely for a top-four pick, if not the very first one.
Kessel has 14 points thus far this season.
Will the Bruins get the top pick in 2011 draft? Leave your thoughts below.