Boston Bruins-Toronto Maple Leafs: Oh, How Different They Are

Joe GillenCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2011

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 5: Mike Brown #18 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on as the Boston Bruins celebrate a third period goal during NHL action at The Air Canada Centre November 5, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins went almost perfect during the month of November, and last night, they recaptured control of the Northeastern Division with a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Hangar.

The big, bad Bruins of Boston are 12-0-1 in November, and they're hoping to keep this recent success going.

Is there a better all-around team in the NHL then the Boston Bruins? I think not. They play a high-tempo, in-your-face, physical game that's hard for most teams to cope with in the NHL. The Leafs have been outscored 19-5 in their last three against the Bruins, a stat I’m sure their coaching staff isn’t too pleased with.

I think the Leafs fans should be pleased with their all-around performance last night against the defending Stanley Cup champs. They played a hard-fought game, but just didn’t have enough to outplay the bigger and more talented team.

Remember, this Bruins team is the real deal from the goalie out. They undoubtedly have the talent.

There were some bright sides for the Leafs: it wasn’t a complete blowout, and the play of Jonas Gustavsson looks promising, even though he snapped his personal four-game win streak.

So, my question is: How do the Leafs match up against teams like the Boston Bruins? Does Brian Burke need bigger forwards? Are the Leafs too small?

Or is it simply that the Leafs don’t play hard enough in front of the net and the dirty areas?

These are questions Leafs fans need to ask themselves.

Rumors are circling the hockey world that Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan is on the Leafs' radar. Would Mr. Burke want to go after a forward who’s been considered lazy at times?

And where would he fit into the Maple Leafs' lineup?

The Maple Leafs have owed their recent success to their style of hockey: using their speed to advantage and breaking out of their zone. Why would the Leafs try to change their game and play Bruins style hockey, when clearly they don’t have the parts to do so?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have to let the bigger, more physical teams adapt to their style of play, because, as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This will continue to be an up-and-down season for the Maple Leafs, and yes, they've improved dramatically (their offseason signings being a great example). However, it’s a long season, and there's always room for improvement.

As for the Boston Bruins? Right now their recent dominance and consistency puts them in a league of their own.

They seem to have found their groove from last season—and that’s bad news for the other 29 teams in the league.