Photo Credit: © Tom Szczerbowski | USA Today

Somebody is gonna have to be the hero in Game 7…why not a Leaf?

To get the obvious point out of the way, the Game 7 hero should definitely be a Leaf.

That being said, these are my suggestions:

Option #1: Mitch Marner

Why: He’s been the Leafs’ best player all series, he has a history of stepping up big when they need him, and he looks so damn happy when the Leafs win. (Come on, you love seeing him hug Carlton. Admit it.)

How: Just keep doing what you’re doing, bud.

Option #2: Auston Matthews

Why: Well, for starters, he’s Auston freakin’ Matthews. He hasn’t made quite as large of an impact this series as we know he’s capable of, so what better time to remind the world that he’s Auston freakin’ Matthews, and he’s a Maple Leaf?

How: Personally, I’d like to see Matthews and Nylander together again. We know they’re capable of playing amazing, beautiful hockey together, and while they’ve done okay apart this series, reuniting them in Game 7 (even briefly) could be epic. But don’t get me wrong, Auston Matthews can make magic with anyone. Or by himself. Why be picky?

Option #3: Kasperi Kapanen

Why: We know he can do it! Seriously, how has he not gotten any points yet in this series?

How: Although objectively Kappy should benefit from the line-shuffling that landed him on a line with Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk, he still hasn’t quite managed to capitalize…but not for lack of trying. A shorthanded goal against the Bruins would honestly be so poetic, and Kapanen is just the guy for the job.

Option #4: Frederik Andersen

Why: He’s arguably played hero in the last two games, as well as for most of the season.

How: Like Mitch, Freddie just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing (in Games 5 and 6, at least). He looked a little rough early in the series, but he appears to have returned to form, and he’s used to saving the Leafs’ butts. Game 7 in Boston should be a walk in the park, really.

Option #5: James van Riemsdyk

Why: As a pending free agent, this could be his last season as a Leaf. Let the guy go out in a blaze of glory. (And if he plays hero for the Leafs in Game 7, we’ll still have him for at least another round.)

How: On the powerplay, naturally.

Or maybe it’ll one of these guys:

William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Jake Gardiner, Travis Dermott, Nazem Kadri, Nikita Zaitsev, Tyler Bozak, Patrick Marleau, Andreas Johnsson, Ron Hainsey, Tomas Plekanec, or even Roman Polak.

Or, you know what would be even better? Everybody steps up and the Toronto Maple Leafs totally own Game 7. Buds all day, right?

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