Date/Time: May 13th, 7:00 PM ET
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The season for the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs comes down to just one game at this point, as these two Northeast Division foes will meet on Monday night in NHL betting action for the right to move onto the second round of the postseason.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the Maple Leafs have come out of nowhere like no team that we have seen in quite some time. This was a team that was literally down and out after losing back to back games at the Air Canada Centre in Games 3 and 4 to fall behind 3-1. Everyone just assumed that the -200 favorites were going to win Game 5 at home to end this series, but Toronto has had the answers. It has been G James Reimer that has made all the difference. Reimer has faced just a stupid amount of shots here in the playoffs (39.7 per game), and he has a .929 save percentage to show for his work. In the last two games, he has stopped 72-of-74 shots and has won a pair of 2-1 games. Nothing has been flashy for Toronto. Its stars haven’t really been huge stars in this series, but in Game 6 it was the line of RW Phil Kessel, C Nazem Kadri, and LW James Van Riemsdyk that figured out how to score not just once, but twice with the season on the line in the third period to claim the victory.
The Bruins have to be shell shocked. They haven’t played well at all over the course of their last two games, and they have to be questioning whether they have the ability to win a game that they really have to have. At the end of the regular season, Boston knew that it didn’t need a whole heck of a lot to be able to win the Northeast Division. It was never really able to finish the job, and it came down to the last day of the regular season. Just a point was needed in the last game against the Ottawa Senators at home, and that point was not ultimately had. That’s what forced the Bruins into this series as the No. 4 seed instead of as the No. 2 seed. Now, two opportunities to close out this series have already passed Boston by, and there is no doubt that losing this game would sting, especially in a season of “Boston Strong” following the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15th. Simply put, this team hasn’t demonstrated the heart of a champion yet, and it is going to be really tough to put all of that aside for one night in Game 7.
Everything has gone Boston’s way in this series, and it is going to be a huge favorite in this game. That being said, the pressure has to be immense. The whole world is going to be betting on the Bruins, but we’re going to go against the grain. Toronto has made it this far, and for a franchise that hadn’t even been to the playoffs in the last nine years before this season, this is a big, big game as well. The whole country of Canada might be rejoicing when this one is said and done with tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Boston Bruins Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.