Deep breaths, people.
Just the Facts
Who: The Boston Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last game of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the only first-round series to go to a seventh game. THE ENTIRE WORLD IS ON PINS AND NEEDLES RIGHT NOW.
What: It’s the moooost STRESSSSSSFUL TIIIIIIME of the year!
When: 7:30 PM
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
How to watch: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN, NESN
Rival SBN site: Pension Plan Puppets
- David Pastrnak - 4G-7A-11PTS; Torey Krug - 1G-7A-8PTS; Tuukka Rask - .909 Sv%, 2.74 GAA
- Mitch Marner - 2G-6A-8PTS; Morgan Rielly - 0G-5A-5PTS; Frederik Andersen - .909 Sv%, 3.30 GAA
If you think back to the five-games-to-go mark, it seems almost inevitable that these two teams would face off in a playoff series.
ALRIGHT, FORGET THE FIVE-GAMES-TO-GO MARK.
Forget Game 1’s torrid start for Boston.
Forget Toronto getting involved in the series, winning Game 3. Forget Boston’s fade in Games 5 and 6.
What should we remember?
Boston has made many successful comebacks this season, often in the most stressful of situations - the third-period rally. Granted, it fell short in Game 6, but also note that Boston didn’t score any third-period goals - they tied it in the second. No matter how you slice it, late-game scoring can and should make a huge difference in Game 7.
In a mild surprise, David Pastrnak leads Boston in postseason points. Brad Marchand is poised to overtake him, if he can regain the control he showed in long stretches during the regular season. While his antagonistic tendencies have waned, he’s just not creating as he had during the regular season. Our fearless leader noted that Brad - and his fellow first-liners - have failed to produce since mid-series. As a team that benefited from contributions up and down the lineup all season, it can be disheartening to watch three 30+ goal-scorers go quiet for 180 minutes straight.
Tuukka Rask has had some difficulties, but even in the shortest of memories, Game 6 saw Charlie McAvoy completely lose track of a Toronto player to allow the second goal of the game. Speculation of an injury really does no good, unless it’s a neck injury and he can’t look around occasionally.If he’s playing, he (and his coach and training staff) are responsible.
That’s not to poke fun at injuries, mind you - there are more important things in life than to risk your own well-being for a shot at glory. As professional athletes, there are longer-term considerations. However, if the roster is deemed healthy enough to participate in Game 7, there’s no chance to excuse performance by way of injury. If you’re in, you’re in to win.
No clip. No recap. No history.
THIS IS GAME SEVEN.