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Thursday FTB: tonight is the night

for game six

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five
TORONTO, ON - MAY 10: Jason Spezza #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates with Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scotiabank Arena on May 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Game six. The Lightning backed against the wall. The Leafs with a chance to take it. Can they do it?

Some stats:

  1. The Lightning have only faced one elimination game in two years, the only time being game seven against the Islanders. The Leafs have pushed them to the brink in six.
  2. The Lightning haven’t lost back-to-back games since 2019, so never in the last two years.
  3. The Leafs are 1-3 in game sixes in the Matthews era. And I don’t need to tell you they’ve never won a game seven.

None of that sounds especially good. Objectively, it’s frightening. But the Leafs have shown that they have the fight in them. They’ve beaten the Lightning on the road, their comeback in game five was legendary. It even got Fulemin back on board! Anything can happen, even another collapse, but so can a win. They just need 13 more.

Last Night’s Results

New York Rangers 5-3 over Pittsburgh Penguins — PIT up 3-2
Florida Panthers 5-3 over Washington Capitals — FLA up 3-2
Calgary Flames 3-1 over Dallas Stars — CGY up 3-2

New York won at home to force game six in Pittsburgh. They still need two more wins, which doesn’t look likely. Unfortunately for the Penguins, they lost Sidney Crosby to an injury that kept him out for the rest of the game.

Florida won game five at home to lead a playoff series for the first time in a decade. Seriously, they’ve never been ahead since their first round loss in 2012. Washington had gotten up to an early lead, but Florida’s offense got them back ahead.

The Flames beat the Stars to regain the series lead after trailing after the first few games.

Tonight’s Games

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Tampa Bay Lightning
TOR up 3-2, 7:30pm, CBC, SN, TBS
Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins
CAR up 3-2, 7:00pm, SN360, TNT
Minnesota Wild @ St. Louis Blues
STL up 3-2, 9:30pm, SN360, TNT
Edmonton Oilers @ Los Angeles Kings
LAK up 3-2, 10:00pm, CBC, SN, TBS

I’d like to get your predictions ahead of these game sixes tonight. How many teams (and which ones) move on/get eliminated tonight?

Poll

How many teams move on to the second round tonight?

  • 17%
    1
    (85 votes)
  • 53%
    2
    (265 votes)
  • 19%
    3
    (98 votes)
  • 9%
    4
    (46 votes)
494 votes total Vote Now

Toronto and Carolina are on the road, while St. Louis and Los Angeles have found ways as the underdog to come home with the series lead.

Here are my predictions:

  • Toronto does it tonight.
  • Boston wins, but loses in seven.
  • Minnesota completes the comeback.
  • LA knocks out Edmonton without Darnell Nurse.

Oh yeah, in case you hadn’t heard, Nurse has been suspended one game for head-butting Phillip Danault in game five. He misses game six where the Oilers could get eliminated.

I think Anaheim is becoming the most forgettable NHL team again. They fired/parted ways with a handful of assistant coaches and AHL coaches, including Joel Bouchard whom Habs fans thought was the next coming of Toe Blake.

“The Ducks today announced that San Diego Gulls head coach Joel Bouchard and assistant coaches Daniel Jacob and Max Talbot have been relieved of their respective duties. Additionally, Ducks assistant coach Geoff Ward has left the club for personal reasons.”

20-year-old Thomas Belgarde downed a beer after a 3OT win in the QMJHL playoffs.