Game seven is a game that both fanbases involved get nervous. They wait all day to see if their team will make it to the next round; or if it is a title game, win a championship. Game seven is one of the most exciting games in all of sports. But more so in hockey. Hockey game sevens are usually always well played and often are quite intense throughout.
This is not the first game seven between Toronto and Boston as you can see from the video above. The Bruins and Maple Leafs put on a show in game seven just about five years ago. Where the Bruins made a huge comeback from three goals down with half a period to go. Only to come back and tie it with 50 seconds left, and win it in overtime.
I don’t think you would be wrong to expect another game seven classic in the NHL. The league always seems to produce high-quality game sevens.
What are they playing for? The right to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not exactly a consolation prize that is high on rewards since the Lightning are a heck of a hockey club.
Allow me to tell you what I think the keys to game seven will be tonight for both teams.
Keys For The Bruins
Eliminate the Stretch Pass
Toronto has feasted on the Bruins using the stretch pass as a weapon. The Maple Leafs have scored several goals and gotten several more opportunities because of their ability to stretch the ice with these passes. The Bruins have allowed more 2-on-1 odd man rushes or breakaways thanks to the stretch pass. And Tuukka Rask has had issues with breakaways throughout his career. To me, he is below average against breakaways and penalty shots. The Bruins need to take that option away from Toronto.
Speaking of Rask…..
I think it is imperative for the Bruins that Rask steps up and has a big game. The Bruins need for him to have a better than his usual game seven numbers; which, in a small sample size is: 1-2, 3.60 GAA, .849 Save%. That will not cut it for Boston. I would not be shocked to see Khudobin in net if Rask gets off to a putrid start. Rask was not the problem in game six, in fact, he was great in the third period when his team needed him the most.
In Fact, Rask playing well in game six brings me to my next key.
The Bruins Top Line Needs To Step Up
The Bruins top line has been absent in the last two games. They have not been producing for the Bruins like they did in the first two games of the series. I am not saying the Bruins top line needs to perform like that. But to get a goal or two from them would have huge. The bigger boost, to be honest, would be David Krejci and company coming out of nowhere to chip in. Speaking of absent that line has been sleeping all series long it seems.
Keys for The Maple Leafs:
The Bruins have to be feeling down on themselves a little bit; so the key to Toronto’s success in game seven may be scoring the first goal. Especially if they can do it early and silence the TD Garden crowd.
Freddie Andersen: Can He Steal Another Game?
This is the ultimate question. Can Freddie Andersen continue his robbery this series? In every game that Toronto has won; he has made at least, I would say, two saves that he had no business making. He has been incredible at times and he might need to do the same tonight. Time will tell. But if Toronto wins, I bet he leaves his glove marks all over it.
This is huge for Toronto, the Maple Leafs have to do well in the faceoff circle. They have done admirably so far this series. But tonight is a game where Boston has the last change, so getting key draws could be very important for Toronto. Especially if they have a late third-period lead.
I hope everyone enjoys game seven, I will be watching along with you all so feel free to tweet at me my handle is @kgesterling1.