The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a play-off match since 2004. The drought is in danger of perpetuating it. Due to missed opportunities and mental errors with the Montreal Canadiens That propelled their series against the Leafs into Game 7 with a win in overtime on Saturday night.
“We have many opportunities. It’s a finger game. And we couldn’t do it,” Toronto star Austin Matthews said after Montreal won 3-2 in extra-time in Game 6, its second consecutive OT victory. with stumbled maple leaves
It was the second time in as many games a game-winning goal had been gifted by Toronto’s turnover. In Game 6, defender Travis Dermott conceded a goal in his own zone, resulting in Jesperi Kotkaniemi̵7;s flapping shot to pass the defender. Jack Campbell goal at 3:15 p.m. of overtime. It was the Canadian’s second ball in extra time. while Toronto scored 13 goals by goalkeeper Carrie Price (41 saves).
Plenty of extra-time scoring opportunities came from the Maple Leafs’ top team alongside Matthews and Mitchell Marner, but they have only had one goal in the series.
“I think they work very hard. They obviously haven’t finished enough,” said Toronto coach Sheldon Keef.
Suddenly, Maple Leafs, a franchise defined by a season-ending heartbreak. are in danger of first-round elimination in their pursuit of a Stanley Cup victory for the first time since 1967.
“Don’t worry about what the fans will say, it doesn’t matter,” said striker Nick Foligno. Sometimes this is what motivates you. It’s hard for the fan base to hear right now. But we will come with the idea that we will win the hockey game.”
A mistake in the extra time ended the game. But it wasn’t just Maple Leafs etiquette that changed Game 6 to Montreal. Toronto came out relatively flat at first, shooting 15-9 as the Canadians fed their 2,500 fans home, the first time spectators were allowed in the Bell Center this year.
“We were just not ready to play at the start of the game. We really have to start on time. because there are a lot of people talking And it’s not good enough,” Marner said.
In the third period, Toronto used the coach’s challenge with the first goal of the Montreal game. in the hope that Tyler’s existence Canadian striker Toffoli in the goal crease will make Cory’s goal play. Perry Void They lost the challenge and were given a small penalty for the game delay. Just 19 seconds later, Marner cleared the puck over the glass to delay another game penalty. Toffalee scores in a 5v3 match.
“We felt it was worth the challenge,” said Toronto coach Sheldon Keef. “There was some precedent there, with Toffoli standing there in the crease and the goalkeeper trying to get back into the fold of he and he can’t We think there is some precedent there. We think what happened in that game, the importance of that goal, I think at the moment it deserves the challenge and confidence in the penalty shootouts they took, but of course it ended five to three.”
Maple Leafs veterans Jason Spezza and TJ Brodie scored in the third period to force overtime. This gave Toronto some positive momentum on the way home.
“That last 10 minutes or so shows we’re not giving up,” Campbell said.
Game 7 on Monday night has the top Maple Leafs looking for another potential playoff disaster. They entered the series as one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. They lost center star John Tavares to injury in Game 1, mysteriously winning the next three games. But it’s a one-time loss from elimination.
“You worked hard at the beginning of the series to make yourself survive. coming to the third [for us]Foligno said, “I believe in this group. For what we are trying to accomplish here. I thought it was just a moment. That’s the best you can recommend to anyone.
“In Game 7 you stand up because you are in that moment and there may be no tomorrow.”