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How do you blow a 4-1 lead with a little over 10 mins remaining in Game 7? Just ask the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Yes… after 9 years of waiting for their triumphant return to post-season play, the Leafs are once again practicing their golf swing. And Leafs fans everywhere are trying to answer that seemingly unanswerable question… HOW?!?
It may have only been Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but any Game 7 involving the Maple Leafs is bound to stir up a lot of excitement in Leaf Nation.
And so it was last night, as I watched my dreams of a second round playoff series slowly implode before my very eyes, I could feel the collective weight of Leafs fans everywhere bearing down on me. It was painful.
I personally don’t feel that the Leafs are guilty of sitting back and trying to protect their rapidly dwindling lead. I think that it was simply their inexperience that left them unprepared (and scrambling) when the Bruins Juggernaut finally got rolling at full speed. They panicked. They fell apart. They choked.
This Toronto team is young. As heart breaking as last night was, I think that there is a good lesson to be learned here. I predict that this small taste of Stanley Cup playoff success (Hey, they did better than Montreal or Vancouver) will light a fire inside of those young players, and the experience will translate into greater confidence and winning.
For now I’m forced to pin my hopes on the Ottawa Senators.
Well we now know who is heading to Vancouver for Wednesday’s game! After the Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night 1-0 to clinch the series in seven games, the stage is set to finally bring the Stanley Cup back to its rightful home… Canada!
It’s been far too long. As my Canadiens friends delight in reminding me, Montreal was the last Canadian team to bring the Cup home. Since then I’ve watched as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa all made it to the final… only to be bested by their respective opponents. (You may have noticed that my beloved Maple Leafs are the only Canadian team not to tease me… Thank you for your consistency, Toronto!) Well this year that is going to change. The Canucks finished the season in top spot, taking home the Presidents’ Trophy for the most points. That’s only the beginning! Sure, they suffered a tiny hiccup in the opening round against the defending champs, the Chicago Blackhawks. Taking that series to Game 7 certainly didn’t give me any warm, fuzzy feelings about the Canucks’ ability to go all the way. That’s all water under the bridge now.
It’s time to start cheering again, Canada!
It’s the time of year again! Stanley Cup playoff time! And once again, I am going to have to enjoy the annual ritual without my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs in the running. I know… I know… how long has it been since they’ve even made the playoffs? I’m too lazy to go look it up, but I know that it’s nearing 10 years.
Actually, this year it’s not only the absesnce of the Maple Leafs that is troubling. There is a very noticeable lack of Canadian teams in the playoff hunt. Ottawa was worse than Toronto this year! Edmonton was just as bad as they were last year. Even Calgary, which normally is fairly strong, is practicing their golf swing early. That leaves Montreal in the east, and Vancouver in the west. It pains me to cheer for the Habs, but I will. My real hope, though, is on the Vancouver Canucks… they’re a very strong team this year, and finished at the top of the standings.
Maybe this is their year?
Go Canucks, Go! (and yeah.. the Habs too…)
What a game last night! Obviously the 2-1 outcome in favour of the Pittsburg Penguins has me pumped, but more than that… what a game… especially as the clock wound down, and pucks and bodies were flying everywhere. I was on the edge of my seat, unsure if I was going to be able to go to sleep, or be forced to sit through some intense overtime play.
And then the final buzzer went. It was all done. Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pens were Stanley Cup champions.
What do you do when you’re 21 and you’ve already reached your ultimate dream?
I know that it’s been a “home victory” series, but I still wasn’t feeling too confident about last night’s game between the Penguins and the Red Wings. Sure, Game 6 might have been in Pittsburg, but after demolishing the Penguins 5-0 only 3 nights earlier, I figured that Detroit probably carried enough momentum to finish them off, even if it did go against the established pattern of the home team winning. I was pleasantly surprised!
So now we’ve got a Game 7. The great thing about Game 7s is that nothing else matters. Sure, the home crowd is a factor, but when you really get down to it… it’s 60 minutes of hockey, and none of the other games really matter. I’m sure that Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburg Penguins are telling themselves the same thing.
Go out, play hard, and take Lord Stanley’s Cup out of Hockeytown.
Go Pens Go!