Maple Leafs vs. Bruins: Toronto Has Upper Hand in Game 7
Toronto Maple Leafs versus Boston Bruins.
Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And things just got a lot more interesting.
After Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced following his team's 2-1 Game 6 loss at the hands of the Maple Leafs last night that their airplane had malfunctioned forcing the team to stay an extra night in Toronto, fans in Ontario's capital city began to rejoice.
As if they hadn't already been rejoicing.
In what was an extremely entertaining contest, the Maple Leafs shocked the hockey world by defeating the Bruins in Game 6 to force their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series into a seventh and deciding game. It was the Maple Leafs' second consecutive victory after falling behind three games to one despite strong play in games two through four. After a few solid performances and nailing down a pair of Ws, the Buds have all the momentum as puck drop approaches.
"We had a lot of juice left in the tank even last night," Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur said today. "There should be no reason why we can't pour it on tonight."
There is certainly reason to believe the Maple Leafs are the Game 7 favourites. Not only are they riding momentum but they have a hot goaltender in James Reimer and seem to be well-coached at the moment.
To go along with the energy and momentum they hold, the Maple Leafs will benefit from the fluky plane malfunction last night. The B's may have made four local hockey fans quite happy but that doesn't necessarily mean they were overly excited to spend one less night away from home. Still, the Bruins are trying to look at the issues they experienced with their airplane in a positive light.
"I didn't have my dog kicking me in the back," forward Shawn Thornton said. "I probably got more sleep than I normally would."
"Nobody was too upset about it ... two ways to look at it and we look at it the positive way," added winger Daniel Paille.
The Maple Leafs will try to take advantage of the Bruins' extra night in Toronto and use their two consecutive wins to their advantage tonight by sporting the same lineup they iced in Toronto in Game 6. This means that Tyler Bozak, who missed last night's game after suffering an undisclosed injury at some point prior to puck drop, will sit. He didn't make the trip to Boston according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
Despite Bozak's absence, tonight will be an exciting game to watch whether you support the Maple Leafs or the Bruins or even if you're just a fan of the game. This is largely because of the adversity the Bruins will have to overcome, something that Paille touched on today.
"We put the last game behind us, came in with a new attitude ... We have to understand it's now or never."
Follow Lukas on Twitter (@LukasHardonk) for Maple Leafs news, opinion and analysis.