Toronto Maple Leafs

Jake DeBrusk says he and his family got death threats from Toronto fans

Jake DeBrusk says he and his family got death threats from Toronto fans

Jake DeBrusk has been pretty quiet on social media lately, and he has an unfortunate reason why.

The Bruins winger told 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich" on Thursday morning he and his family members received death threats from Toronto fans during Boston's first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Maple Leafs.

DeBrusk said the threats began around Game 3 in Toronto, after an eventful Game 2 in which DeBrusk's hit on Patrick Marleau inspired Toronto's Nazem Kadri to retaliate with a ruthless cross-check that earned Kadri a series-long suspension.

"I think the fact that happened in Game 2 and we were going into Toronto for Game 3 -- I was getting death threats consistently," DeBrusk said. "My family members were telling me that they were getting death threats, as well, so I just wanted to kind of slow it down, in a sense. So, I just didn't go on (social media)."

When asked if he reported any of the death threats, DeBrusk revealed the scope of the threats, some of which came via direct messages.

"There were too many, to be honest," DeBrusk said. "There were just too many things going on to (report) threats that were happening, whether it's comments or direct messages or other things.

"There were just too many. I couldn't really report all of them. I didn't report any of them, to be honest. There were so many."

DeBrusk isn't the first person to receive death threats from Toronto fans, as the wife of former Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer said she got similar threats from cyberbullies after the team's collapse against the Bruins in 2013.

The Bruins defeated the Leafs in seven games for the second consecutive year to advance to the second round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Here's how Bruce Cassidy fired up Bruins for Game 7 in pre-game speech

Here's how Bruce Cassidy fired up Bruins for Game 7 in pre-game speech

The Boston Bruins came out and dominated the scoreboard in the first period of Tuesday night's Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and their coach's pre-game speech set the tone.

Before the B's jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the first intermission, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy fired up his players with a good pre-game speech in the locker room at TD Garden.

Check out Cassidy's message in the video below:

The B's ultimately won 5-1 to send the Leafs home for the summer. Boston also beat Toronto in a Game 7 in the first round in 2013 and 2018. 

The Bruins' next challenge is the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round. Nobody expected the Blue Jackets to beat the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1, but not only did Columbus pull off a historic upset, it swept the Bolts in convincing fashion.

The Bruins don't have much time to scout the Blue Jackets because Game 1 of the series is Thursday night at TD Garden. That said, we have little doubt Cassidy will come up with an inspiring message for his team before the series opener.

Click here for an early look at Bruins vs. Blue Jackets>>>

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Bruins vs. Blue Jackets: John Tortorella says playoff experience is 'overrated'

Bruins vs. Blue Jackets: John Tortorella says playoff experience is 'overrated'

The Boston Bruins had a decisive advantage in postseason experience during their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it clearly helped the B's eliminate their rivals in Game 7 on Tuesday night.

Experience is hard to quantify, but having a roster loaded with players who've played in several Game 7s certainly is beneficial. Despite being outshot and outplayed for long stretches of the night, the B's kept their composure and made the most of their scoring chances in a 5-1 victory over the Leafs.

The Bruins' edge in experience will be even greater in their second-round series versus the Columbus Blue Jackets than it was in the first round against Toronto. Columbus is in the second round for the first time in team history, and many of its players have little experience past Round 1.

Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was asked about experience Wednesday during a media conference call, and he clearly doesn't think it'll be a huge plus for the Bruins.

“Yeah, I think it’s overrated,” Tortorella said. “And I’m not saying that because I have an inexperienced team. I wonder, and I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, but I wonder -- innocence vs. experience. What is the pressure? How do people handle the pressure? Some of the things that go on with young kids, and I’m watching it with a couple of guys on our team -- they’re just playing, they’re not worried about anything as far as pressure or the bright lights of media or surges in the game. They’re just playing the best way they can. So I’m not sure where you go with that, and I’ve always felt that way.

“Listen, as I've said, I’m not speaking on Boston much. That’s a great organization, we have a tremendous amount of respect for them, we’re going to prepare the best way the Columbus Blue Jackets can prepare, and we’re going to be ourselves to play this series.”

Tortorella himself certainly doesn't lack experience. He won a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and his teams have reached the playoffs in 11 of his last 15 seasons behind the bench.

The Blue Jackets faced absolutely no pressure against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1. The Bolts were coming off a historically good regular season in which they won the Presidents' Trophy. Nobody picked the Blue Jackets to win, and many predicted a Lightning sweep. The opposite happened, as Columbus swept Tampa Bay in one of the most shocking playoff upsets in recent sports history.

This series against the Bruins should be much different. The B's will not take the Blue Jackets lightly, and Columbus' physicality and size will not be problems for Boston. In fact, that's the type of game the Bruins love to play. 

Experience won't be the deciding factor in this series, but it's not something that's overrated, either. The Bruins know what to expect in pressure-packed moments at this stage of the playoffs, and knowing how to prepare for that is valuable.

Click here for an early look at Bruins vs. Blue Jackets>>>

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