Here we are again. Game 7 in Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The familiar noises and heart-attack inducing feelings are back again at home as the Boston Bruins face the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second straight season. It’s been the match-up that was foreseen as the regular season came to a close with both teams evenly matched.
SETTING THE STAGE
In an all too familiar scenario that saw the Bruins back up against the wall in a pivotal Game 6, the B’s came out fighting for their season and forced a Game 7. Toronto scored first, but soon thereafter the Bruins tied up the game and eventually took a 3-1 lead over the Leafs. Toronto’s star Auston Matthews netted a goal making it 3-2. With Toronto threatening to even out the score, Boston defense came up huge and managed to keep the Leafs at bay. In the final minutes of the third period and with an empty Maple Leafs net, Bruins own Brad Marchand netted his second goal of the game, making the final score 4-2.
“…When the season’s on the line, you want to play hard, you want to leave it all out there…We’re playing for our season again next game. You don’t know how it’s gonna play out, but we’ll have fun doing it.”Bruins Brad Marchand
As both Toronto and Boston Bruins fans gear up for the final showdown this season, the end result will come down to simply which team wants it more. With the momentum coming out from the huge win in Toronto, Boston will need to continue to get their hustle, hitting and better puck control. While the Bruins teams have won its last two Game 7 against Toronto, the past is just that: the past. Toronto is a different team as are the B’s. The Bruins team currently has players that have experience in a do-or-die situation.
“Experience matters. I think it was just the compete level. Our guys, they knew what was at stake (Game 6) if we didn’t perform. I think it showed that they were ready to play. I think we responded well after every loss in the series. That’s a testament to the guys. Going forward, experience matters…It helps me because I haven’t been around that long. Some of the players have been through it more than I have. Our veteran guys have been through it a few times. I assume they’ll draw on different experiences.”Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy
STAYING ON TOP
Fans will remember that Boston Bruins took a 3-1 series lead last season when they faced Toronto. The Maple Leafs however came back and tied the series-forcing a Game 7 in Boston. Toronto had the lead in the third period when Boston scored four unanswered goals. Once again, Boston will face a hungry Maple Leafs team and judging from Sundays game, the Bruins are playing back to their identity.
“To me, that’s the recipe that has been successful for us most of the year, even in this playoff series. They’re a good team that doesn’t give you much. The space is very tight on the ice and when we simplify our game and bring it into their zone, that’s where you want to play obviously. I think it about doing a lot of what we did in Game 6, for sure.”Bruins Patrice Bergeron
As of this morning, Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that there will be no changes to the line-up for tonight’s game. As the hours count down to puck drop at 7:00pm tonight at the Garden, no matter the outcome, both Boston and Toronto will be do whatever it takes to win.
May the best team win.
(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight, with puck drop at 7:00pm, TD Garden
WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN, NESN
Follow me on Twitter: @pastagrl88