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Sunday’s FTB: It’s do or die tonight, does history show us anything?

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With five game series back in fashion, we look to the past for inspiration.

Toronto honors its maple leafs. Maple Leaf Captain George Armstrong (top) holds the Stanley Cup and Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final game of their five game qualifying round series, to see who moves on to the first round of the 2020 NHL playoffs, and who gets a 12.5% chance at drafting Alexis Lafrenière.

Here’s how tonight’s schedule shapes up:

NHL Schedule for August 9th, 2020:

Boston Bruins vs Washington Capitals - 12:00PM - Sportsnet, NBC Sports, TVA Sports
Dallas Stars vs St. Louis Blues - 3:00PM - Sportsnet One/360, NBC
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Toronto Maple Leafs - 8:00PM - Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NBC ports, Fox Sports - Ohio

Before this series began, I took a look back at the Maple Leafs total record in five game series.

Overall the Leafs are 6-6 in this format. Not terrible, but not great. With game five tonight let’s get a little more specific about this and look at the Leafs in game five of a five game series. I need to give big thanks to Hockey-Reference.com and Wikipedia for their wealth of information.

1922 Stanley Cup Finals vs Vancouver Millionaires
St. Patricks Win Series 3-2

Coach: George O’Donoghue
Captain: Reg Noble

This series had each team trade wins coming into game five. In game four the St. Patricks scored six on Vancouver goalie Hugh Lehman and were ready to build off of that coming into game five. They didn’t waste anytime with Babe Dye scoring twice in the first five minutes of the first period, then twice more in the first ten of the third period. Corb Denneny also scored for the St. Pats in the second period, and only Jack Adams could score for Vancouver in the final two minutes, as the St. Patricks would win their second Stanley Cup.

1933 NHL playoffs - Round Two vs Boston Bruins

Maple Leafs win series 3-2
Coach: Dick Irvin Sr.
Captain: Hap Day

Game five of this series is the infamous six overtime game that saw almost three full games of hockey get played, really giving those fans their moneys worth. It was a true goalie duel between Boston’s Tiny Thompson and Toronto’s Lorne Chabot, seeing no goals in over 166 minutes of play. When the only goal was scored, it wasn’t one of Toronto’s stars like Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson, King Clancey or Hap Day; it was depth forward Ken Doraty, who had scored only five regular season goals.

1934 NHL Playoffs - Round Two vs Detroit Red Wings
Maple Leafs lose series 3-2

Coach: Dick Irvin Sr.
Captain: Hap Day

The first game five loss was also a 1-0 affair, however it would be about 100 minutes and six periods shorter. The Leafs had scored eight goals in games three and four to tie the series, but couldn’t get a single shot past Wilf Cude in their final must win game.


The Leafs have only played in three game fives in a best of five series, and all of them were over eighty years ago. It’s a small 2-1 record, but history, what little there is, is on our side.

From Yesterday

Our thoughts on Friday nights game:

Some important news about tonight:

More words about the Leafs:

In the only two games yesterday, the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche to win the top spot in the Western Conference for the first round of the NHL playoffs, and will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Avalanche will play the Arizona Coyotes.

In the East, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning and will be the opponent of the surprising qualifying round winner Montreal Canadiens. The Lightning? Now they get the winner of tonight’s game. Either a revenge series against Columbus, or we get to see the series a lot of people have been clamoring for: Tampa vs Toronto.

There are two big pieces of news for that potential series:

Victor Hedman left last night’s game with an injury:

And Steven Stamkos is out indefinitely:

Big game tonight.

Go Leafs Go!