MAPLE LEAFS (11-7-0) at BRUINS (6-5-4)
7:00 p.m. CBC
Last night the leafs without their superstar Auston Matthews, played a systematic and gutsy game. Mitch Marner mad two amazing passes and old man Marleau finished things in OT for a very exciting finish. The Leafs beat the Bruins in Overtime. It wasn’t that long ago the overtime vs the Bruins ended in a much different way. The Leafs are in the middle of a back to back, home and home mini series vs the Bruins, I find myself thinking back to last time series vs Boston. The memories are not good. If you stopped reading now, I would completely understand and forgive you. Read on, only if you feel you are ready.
It will be 5 seasons come this May and as much as I try, I can not block out the haunt of what what happened on May 13th, 2013. With the help of both professional and unprofessional therapists I have forced myself to take an honest look bad, at the game that should not be mentioned.
Before I get into the actual game I think I should provide a little background on the 2013 Leafs. As you might recall, 2012/2013 was a lockout shortened season. It was mad scramble of 48 games condensed into a shade over 3 months. Bombastic Brian Burke was the man in charge, Our head coach was “Good One, Randy” Carlisle, our captain was Dion Phaneuf and our top player was now 2 time Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel, our goalie James ‘Optimus’ Reimer.
Players from that team that our still on the roster today, are Nazem Kadri, JVR, ‘young’ Tyler Bozak, ‘Uncle’ Leo Komarov and Jake Gardiner. The group was young and might even had been considered a team on the rise. 26-17-5 was nothing to sneeze at and good for 5th in the East. They had a lot of flash and dash and even some crash too, the roster included Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren.
Now before the series started if you had asked Leafs fans if they would skip the first 6 games to have 1 game chance to win it on the road, 100% would have said YES! The Boston Bruins were an excellent team. Their 28-14-6 record was good for third best record in the Eastern Conference. Patrice Bergeron, David Kreice, Milan Lucic, Tyer Seguin, future HHOFer Jaromir Jagr, and of of course the man Giant, The big Z, Zdeno Chara. They were backstopped by ex Leaf draft pick Vezina winner Tukka Rask. So many of these superstars were part of the cup winning Bruins team of 2011 too.
The series started off as expected the Bruins cruised to a 4-1 win, and al though the Leafs won game 2 by the time game 5 stared they were down 3 games to 1 and as Leafs fans were in “just happy to there” mode. I think the more bandwagons types were conceding defeat at this point, bt you know who didnt? James Fucking Reimer. He absolutely stole game 5 stopping 43 of 44 shots. A 2-1 win that can only be described as pure larceny. Down 3 games to 2, maybe there was a chance… maybe. After gutsy al around solid team game, the leafs found themselves with another 2-1 win and more importantly they had found their confidence. They were playing as though they knew they could win. After 9 years of not making the playoffs Leafs nation was feeling great too. One more great game and we could knock off the Mighty Bruins!
I think game 7 is best conveyed in a series of short video clips. Watch them if you can bear it.
Square after Kadri 4-1
The following clips includes mature content and may not be suitable for certain leaf fans. Viewer discretion is advised.
First the goal
Then the Square
As Leafs fans we should have been able take some comfort in know we pushed this mighty Bruins squad to a game seven and had them right where we wanted them. But frankly, we couldn’t, the way in which we lost cut just a little too deep. I am not ashamed to admit, it hurt.
My oldest boy was 7 and half. His Mother and I let him stay up late to watch. After the Kadri goal went in he started making plans and drawing invites to a Leafs playoff party he was going to throw for all his little cousins. When the Bergeron goal went in he face planted into the carpet and started balling his eyes out. Through his sobs he yell “ I hate the Bruins, I hate the Bruins!” “Worse than I hate the Canadians!” I don’t think he’s ever let himself believe in the Leafs since. As a Dad I remember thinking is this what I have signed him up for? A life full of heart break and disappointment in being a fan of the Leafs? Maybe. As a Leafs fan we have had more than our fair share of darkness and lows. As this group grows I can’t see anything but clear skies and warm sunshine.
Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Brown, Hyman, Rielly, It’s a new day. My youngest is now 7 and half, he and his 2 older brother argue about who gets to be which of the above players when the play mini sticks in the basement.
Go Leafs Go