Clear your Monday night plans folks, there’s going to be a Game 7 in Boston.
For the second straight game the Bruins had a chance to send the Maple Leafs home for the summer, but once again the Bruins couldn’t find the killer instinct they needed to take down the Leafs and because of this will skate in a winner-takes-all Game 7.
For two periods it was anyone’s game as the two teams exchanged scoring chances in what was one of the most entertaining games in the series, but the third period was all Toronto’s as Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel found the back of the net to put the Maple Leafs up 2-0.
Milan Lucic would cut the lead in half with 25 seconds to go, but the goal was too little, too late in what was a disappointing evening in Toronto for the Bruins.
“It’s really disappointing” said goalie Tuukka Rask who made 24 saves in the loss. “With a game like that you can’t expect to win. The Leafs have played really good throughout the series and you know they get rewarded, so yeah, that’s about it.”
Instead of getting an extra days rest while watching their soon-to-be second round opponent—winner of the Leafs/Bruins series will play the winner of the Rangers/Capitals series— battle it out in Game 7, the Bruins will be fighting for their playoff lives, and the Bruins know all too well that in Game 7, anything can happen.
Game 7 is where Scott Walker happens. Game 7 is where Simon Gagne happens. Game 7 is where Joel Ward happens.
Sure the Bruins are upset they once again failed to close out the series, but the Bruins can’t dwell on it as they still have a chance to win the series with one more victory.
“Yeah, and it’s still there” said Captain Zdeno Chara. “Just have to get ready for the next one; it’s the biggest game of the series.”
Tonight’s Game 7 marks the fourth straight seven game series the Bruins will skate in, so yes, it’s safe to say that the Bruins have been here before.
The Bruins regular season inconsistency has carried over into the playoffs, but one player who has been standing tall all series has been Rask, and that was the case for sure in Game 6.
“Tuukka was awesome tonight, like in every game” said defensemen Dennis Seidenberg. “I mean he does that every game for us and has been solid in every game and we can’t ask for more from him.”
Both teams will be playing desperate hockey in Game 7 with elimination on the line for both squads; the Bruins need to match the Leafs desperation, something they couldn’t do in Game 6.
“You know we talked about playing with desperation and matching their desperation, and I don’t think we did” added Rask.
The Bruins will need a number of things to change if they have plans on playing more hockey after Game 7. Puck management is something the Bruins need to improve on. Head coach Claude Julien was not happy with this club’s puck management on Sunday night.
“I thought the whole game, we talked about puck management, I didn’t think we did a really good job” said Julien.
“Although it was 0-0, we had to have better puck management. When you look at the end of the game, the way we lost, that’s what cost us the game. It’s simple as that.”
To add insult to injury, the Bruins team plane had malfunctions on Sunday night forcing the team to remain in Toronto through the night and fly to Boston Monday morning. For a team that has been bad all season long in the third game of three games in four nights, this plane malfunction couldn’t come at a worse time.
The Bruins hope to avoid another Game 7 malfunction when they hit the TD Garden ice Monday night.