It's the greatest day of the year. Seventh game great. Tuesday evening featured four clubs playing for their lives and that always brings the best/worst out of each player. Some rise to the occasion, others crumble under the pressure. As someone without a rooting interest, it's a very pleasurable experience. For all of you Leafs/Bruins/Sharks/Golden Knights fans out there, I apologize. I hope you tried some deep breathing exercises. I hear they can be helpful. Take note, Caps and Canes fans.
Boston kept their barn rocking with two first period tallies off of two terrible defensive plays by Toronto. One off the stick and Travis Dermott, the second off a Jake Gardiner turnover. With that minus, Gardiner now owns the dubious distinction of the worst plus-minus rating in game 7 history. Yikes. Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of his UFA contract dropping in value.
John Tavares cut the lead to one with a second-period goal – his second of the series, but that was as close as they would come. The Bruins would tally three more goals in the final frame – two via the open cage variety, and sent the Leafs packing in game seven for the third time in the last seven seasons. Needless to say, the Bruins appear to have their number.
It didn't take long for pundits to call for Mike Babcock's head. To criticize his deployment, his inability to shuffle lines, or match up successfully while at home. These are all fair criticisms, but at the end of the day, Toronto's backend wasn't good enough, Freddie Andersen let in a soft one to begin the game, and outside of Auston Matthews, the big guns didn't do enough.
The Leafs remain one of the brightest, youngest teams and will continue on the rise in 2019-20. That said, their inability to win a playoff series is bordering on ridiculous and is clearly eating the fanbase from the inside out. Since the salary cap era bega