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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: History is on our side

There’s been more good than bad.

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Fly Freddie, fly!

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs play their first game seven since 2013 against the Boston Bruins. It didn’t go well. BUT! The Maple Leafs historically have done well in these do or die games. They have a record of 12-10 in game sevens over their history, including some wins since they expanded past six teams all you smart alecks out there.

1941 - Semi-Finals - Boston wins 2-1

Okay we don’t start off on a great foot, but it was a close one. In a one minute span in the first period Bucko McDonald scored for the Leafs and Flash Hollett scored for the Bruins. Then at 14:17 over the third period Mel Hill would score his first goal of the playoffs to eliminate the Leafs and move on to the Stanley Cup Final.

1942 - Stanley Cup Finals - Toronto wins 3-1

A much better result in 1942. The Maple Leafs put up three unanswered goals in the third period; two from Sweeney Schriner and one from Pete Langelle. It was a historic win, as the Red Wings were up 3-0 in the series and the Maple Leafs had to win four straight games to win their fourth Stanley Cup.

1945 - Stanley Cup Finals - Toronto wins 2-1

Stanley Cup number five came against the Red Wings once again. This time however it was the Leafs who almost blew a 3-0 series lead. The Red Wings came back to force a game seven but Babe Pratt was the hero who scored a power play goal that became the game and series winner.

1950 - Semi-Finals - Detroit wins 1-0 in overtime

The third game seven against Detroit went the other way this time. The teams were trading wins all series, and a goaltending duel between Turk Broda (Toronto) and Harry Lumley (Detroit) went half a period into extra time before Leo Reise Jr scored the goal to end the Maple Leafs season.

1959 - Semi-Finals - Toronto wins 3-2

After winning three straight games to make the series 3-2 the Leafs dropped game six 5-4, leading to a game seven at Maple Leaf Gardens. After two periods the Bruins lead the game 2-1 but goals from Bob Pulford and Gerry Ehman moved the Leafs on to the finals.

1964 - Semi-Finals - Toronto wins 3-1

The Montreal Canadiens had a 3-2 series lead but couldn’t close it out, being shutout in game six 3-0. In game seven Dave Keon scored twice in the first period, with the second goal being the game winner. Ralph Backstrom scored for the Habs, but a Keon hat trick goal would seal the deal and move the Leafs on to face the Red Wings for the Stanley Cup.

1964 - Stanley Cup Finals - Toronto wins 4-0

Their second game seven of the 1964 playoffs saw another 3-2 series lead for the opponents evaporate. Terry Sawchuk stopped 33 shots to get the shutout and the Leafs their 12th cup.

1976 - Quarter-Finals - Philadelphia wins 7-3

Over a decade since their last game seven, the NHL added two more rounds to the playoffs. The Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a three game series in the preliminary round, to face off against the eventual Stanley Cup champions. After one period the Maple Leafs were leading 2-1, but a five goal second period for the Flyers put them out of the Leafs’ reach.

1978 - Quarter-Finals - Toronto wins 2-1 in overtime

The Leafs beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in the preliminary round and faced off against the New York Islanders in the second round. It was a home team wins series until game seven at the Nassau Coliseum. The Maple Leafs threw 27 shots at Glenn Resch, and would finally get the winning goal past him when Lanny MacDonald took a shot 4:31 into overtime.

1986 - Norris Division finals - St. Louis wins 2-1

With the league switching to the divisional playoff format, the Maple Leafs beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 in the Norris Division semi-finals, and took on the St. Louis Blues in the division finals. We had one goal in each period of the seventh game, with Brad Smith scoring the Leafs only goal in the second period. Kevin LaVallee scored the series winner in the third period.

1987 - Norris Division finals - Detroit wins 3-0

Another trip to the division finals saw the Leafs lose again. Adam Oates scored the first goal 2:51 into the game which would be the series winner. The Leafs couldn’t score against Glen Hanlon that night and he shut them out. It was just as well, since the winner would face the dynasty Edmonton Oilers in the Campbell Conference finals.

1993 - Norris Division semi-finals - Toronto wins 4-3 in overtime

The Maple Leafs weren’t supposed to beat the Red Wings, but won games 3-5 to take a 3-2 series lead. A 7-3 blowout loss at home put the Leafs backs against the wall, but the responded with a goal in each period to set up Nikolai Borschevsky’s overtime winner 2:35 into the third period.

1993 - Norris Division finals - Toronto wins 6-0

The Leafs were in another hard fought series that saw it open with back to back double overtime games. The teams traded wins in close contests until game seven when the Leafs lit up Curtis Joseph for six goals.

1993 - Campbell Conference finals - Los Angeles wins 4-3

Sigh. The Maple Leafs almost had game six won, then stuff happened. It was a close game, but the Leafs couldn’t overcome the Kings - or more specifically Wayne Gretzky - and fell to the Kings who would go on to lose the finals. Jerks.

1994 - Campbell Conference semi-finals - Toronto wins 4-2

On their way to their second trip to the conference finals the Maple Leafs eliminated the San Jose Sharks, after swapping wins with each other for six games. Wendel Clark gave the Leafs a 2-0 lead and Mark Osborne & Doug Gilmour would add two more to let the Leafs move on.

1995 - Western Conference quarter-finals - Chicago wins 5-2

The Maple Leafs weren’t the same team as they were the previous two years, but they made a series of it with the Blackhawks. Forcing a game seven with a 5-4 overtime win, the Leafs were ready to win another game seven, but after heading into the third period down 2-1 the ‘Hawks got away from the Leafs and scored three goals to take the game and the series.

2001 - Eastern Conference semi-finals - New Jersey wins 5-1

The infamous hit on Scott Niedermayer from Tie Domi occurred in game five of this series, and after that the Leafs took a 3-2 series lead. Dropping the final two games of the series, including five unanswered goals in game seven, the Leafs let New Jersey move on. Thankfully they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in the cup finals.

2002 - Eastern Conference quarter-finals - Toronto wins 4-2

Another series known more for a hit than the scores - the Darcy Tucker hit that destroyed Mike Peca’s knees - saw the Leafs win game seven 4-2, with Alexander Mogilny scoring two goals, sandwiching Travis Green’s game winner.

2002 - Eastern Conference semi-finals - Toronto wins 3-0

Another great playoff win over the Ottawa Senators, this series had a triple OT Leafs win, and the Senators blowing a 3-2 series lead. In the final game Alex Mogilny would again score two goals in the final game of the series.

2003 - Eastern Conference quarter-finals - Philadelphia wins 6-1

The Maple Leafs put up a fight to get to seven games, winning game six in double overtime. The fight was gone from the team however, after they lose the game 6-1 with the Flyers scoring five even strength goals.

2004 - Eastern Conference quarter-finals - Toronto wins 4-1

Another year another win over the Senators. Like the previous year game six went to double overtime, and like the previous year the OT winner lost big. The Leafs beat the Senators 4-1, scored three goals in the first period to get away from the Senators for good.

2013 - Eastern Conference quarter-finals - Boston wins 5-4 in overtime

Yeah, whatever.

2018 - Eastern Conference quarter-finals:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
7:30PM - Boston, Massachusetts
Watch: CBC, Sportsnet, NHL Live, Sportsnet Now
Listen: TSN1050, Sportsner590
SBN other team: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Relax folks. They got this.

Toronto Maple Leafs lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Connor Brown
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Mitchell Marner
Andreas Johnsson - Tomas Plekanec - William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Kasperi Kapanen

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney

Boston Bruins lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen
Rick Nash - Riley Nash - David Backes
Tim Schaller - Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

All lines are from and may change at game time.

Okay folks, let’s get ourselves ready for the big one.

Remember two things.

Go Leafs Go


Remember the relationship of morning lines to warmup lines to game lines is pretty tenuous these days.