And here we are!! One game left, make or break!! If anybody on the roster has been holding back at all then I have two things to say. First, shame on you!! Second, there’s no reason to hold back any longer.
If you had asked me that after game #2, if anybody was holding back, I would have told you there was no question about it. There were more than a couple of Maple Leafs that dipped their toe in the water that is the first round of The Stanley Cup Playoffs before taking the plunge.
Since then? Credit where credit is due, they’ve made this into the series it should have been since day one. They’ve battled hard, given a lot, held little back.
We are a selfish bunch however, this Leafs Nation. We are always thirsty for more and now is no different. We need a full effort like nothing we’ve seen yet.
They’re back in Boston tonight and I’ve already outlined the struggles faced there from the officiating. I’m nervous that the gents in black and white will be the ultimate factor tonight and, with what I’ve seen, I can’t even give the Buds any advice on how to avoid it. As I’ve said before, it would be a good idea to start by not hitting Zdeno Chara in the fist with your face. After that I’m drawing a blank.
I’m still worried though, because with all of the skill, physicality, blood and guts that has been brought to the table during this series, it would be a shame if, at the end of the day, it was simply an example of how poor the refs have been in the NHL after a season where there have been too many examples of just that.
Unless the goalies are involved I say let them play.
If that is what happens I will offer some advice. Don’t stop working!!
Some people are saying the tables have turned, that it’s now the Bruins that should feel the pressure of elimination. They have a point. They’re going to hit the ice, guns blazing, hate and hell in their eyes. So don’t stop working!!
Some are saying it’s the Bruins that have the experience, leadership, and wherewithal to get it done. They, too, may have a point, that team has been here before. So don’t stop working!!
Some are saying it’s not yet time for the Leafs to compete, that they can’t get it done without one missing piece or another. You want to prove them wrong, right? So don’t stop working!!
I say this is a team that has grown out of it’s childlike infancy and, while they may look like boys on the outside, have shown me that they are men, tall and strong, on the inside. I say the only way to continue that growth is don’t stop working!!
The only thing that will matter tonight is that 50 seconds (give or take) after you’re tapped on the shoulder and your skates hit the ice for that one shift. There can’t be another shift on your mind, before or after. There can’t be a crowd, cheering or booing. There can’t be refs to worry about. There can only be the sound of your heart pounding as you drive through every stride, every shot, every pass, every hit!! There can be no pain, no fatigue, and then, and only then, will there be no losing!!
Leafs Nation is with you, strong and proud!! Use that strength and we’ll get through this together!!
GO LEAFS GO!!!!