Toronto Maple Leafs: 4 Key Matchups to watch vs. Boston Bruins

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 15: Auston Matthews
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 15: Auston Matthews /
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James van Riemsdyk vs Zdeno Chara

Chara knows van Riemsdyk will try to park himself in front of the net on the powerplay. Both players have had many battles for positioning in front of the goalie, which usually favours Chara.

Surprisingly enough, JVR has had success against Chara when it comes to possession numbers, with 76.32 CF%. at even strength against the towering defenceman.

The real question is whether he can have a repeat of his 2013 series in terms of production rather than the end result. In seven games, JVR had seven points and in 32 regular season games against Boston, he has 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists).

This will be a big playoff series for the 28-year-old, who is looking to cash in on free agency. He showed he can produce in the regular season with 36 goals, 18 assists and 54 points in 81 games, but will be judged a lot on his postseason numbers.

In 52 playoff games, JVR has 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points which is not earth shattering, but with the Toronto Maple Leafs he has been a reliable contributor.

Expect Chara to try and limit his effectiveness on the powerplay, so his impact could come at even strength. And 25 goals at five-on-five is not something to ignore if you’re the Bruins, especially with the limited time JVR spends on the ice.