The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team from Canada remaining in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they are on the verge of elimination by facing the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of their opening-round series.
The Leafs were up 3-2 in the series heading into Game 6. The Leafs were trying to lock up the series with a win on home ice in Toronto. However, Brad Marchard scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Bruins to a 4-2 victory. The Bruins forced a Game 7, which will be hosted in Boston.
“We’re fighting for our season again next game,” said Marchand. “We don’t know how it’s going to play out, but we’re going to have fun doing it.”
The Bruins knocked out the Leafs in the opening round last season. It also required seven games to decide that series.
So far this postseason, this series followed a zig-zag pattern. The Leafs won Game 1 on the road in Boston, but the Bruins countered with a victory in Game 2 to even the series. The Leafs won Game 3 in Toronto, but dropped Game 4. The Leafs prevailed in Game 5 in Boston to take a 3-2 edge, but the Bruins evened the score on the road.
Canada’s Last Hope
A team from Canada has not won the NHL championship since the Montreal Canadians hoisted the Stanley Cup in 1993. Only three teams from Canada qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs this year with the Flames, Leafs, and Jets. Those three Canadian teams came into the postseason knowing that they had to fade history.
The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets were favorites to win their respective series in the Western Conference. However, the Colorado Avalanche only needed five games to topple the top-seeded Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues put away the Winnipeg Jets in six games to advance to the Western Semifinals.
With two teams from Canada already eliminated out west, it comes down to the entire nation rooting for the Leafs tonight. The Leafs posted 100 points in the regular season with 46 wins. The Bruins were just a little bit better with 49 wins and 107 points. The Bruins were awarded the #2 seed, while the Leafs had the #3 seed.
Game 7 Reprise
Another year, another Game 7 battle between the Leafs and Bruins. The teams are also meeting in the playoffs for the third time since 2013.
The Bruins have the benefit of skating on home ice for Game 7. However, the Leafs already proved that they could win in Boston. The Leafs won Games 1 and 5 in Beantown and outscored the Bruins 6-2 in those games.
“No, to be honest, probably the only thing is home ice,” said Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk. “But they’ve already won twice there. It’s one of those things where you try to forget the past whether it’s this series or last year’s series.”
When the Leafs keep the Bruins in check, they win. Seems fairly simple. The Bruins scored 14 goals in their three victories, yet scored only 4 games in their three losses.
According to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the Boston Bruins are -145 on the moneyline to win Game 7 and the Leafs are underdogs at +132.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Boston Bruins are 7/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, the Toronto Leafs are 12/1 odds to bring the Cup back to Canada.