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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Can we get a Happy Ending?

Folk’s, what’s really left to say on this series. At times some players have been great and at other times they were underwhelming. Sometimes the series looked to be going the Leafs way, and at other times it looked like it Boston was dominating. We’ve had our highs and lows, and really the only constant has been the amazing play of Freddie Andersen, a magical goaltender who has taught me to love Leafs goaltending again.

We started with a best of seven series and now we’re down to a single elimination game yet again. History hasn’t been kind to the Leafs in this regard, but thankfully they’re not playing the game in the past, they’re playing in Boston, which just seems like past. The Leafs have all the talent they need to take this game, but unfortunately that is also true of Boston. And once the puck drops it doesn’t matter that the Leafs are due, and the odds favour Boston, it’s just going to be the most intense sixty minutes of hockey that a generation of Leafs fans has ever seen. A 15 year old Leafs fan has never seen the second round in their lifetime. Most of us haven’t seen the Leafs beyond the Conference finals in our lifetime, and in the year of first round upsets, the Leafs could very quickly become the Cup favourites.

But no pressure.

This series has been an absolute gem. It’s been intense, fast, physical, and given us the highs and lows we seek in sports fandom. Unfortunately for Boston, this is where you have to get off. It’s time for the Leafs to build a new rivalry with the *checks notes* Columbus Blue Jackets (sigh.)

Lineups

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 73.9#49 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 81.9#10 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 78.5#17 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.09#20 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 75.3#36 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 83.6#5 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 74.1#44 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.66#3 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 72.5#72 LW

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 75.3#47 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.66#13 FL3
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 72.2#80 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 69.2#179 C

Trevor Moore
TREVOR MOORE

Rating: 73.0#63 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.47#10 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.6#5 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.2#54 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.39#12 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.9#19 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.0#86 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.45#20 DL2
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 76.9#16 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 74.7#29 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 75.83#1 DL3

A win away from Kadri being back and that lineup being a whole lot happier, but in the meantime this lineup card has served us well-ish. I mean, Marleau and Brown as Nylander’s wingers is far less than ideal, but a wise man by the name of Ryan Fancey has the right idea with his workaround…

To this point in the series #91 and #34 have floated around 20 minutes of ice-time in the six games leading us here. Tomorrow it has to be different. The Leafs have decent depth in their lineup, but they’re fortunate enough to also be a top heavy team; 25 shifts apiece for their top two centers shouldn’t be enough for game seven. Everything in the tank needs to be emptied.

LW C RW Forwards
Brad Marchand
BRAD MARCHAND

Rating: 86.6#1 LW

Patrice Bergeron
PATRICE BERGERON

Rating: 84.6#4 C

David Pastrnak
DAVID PASTRNAK

Rating: 83.9#4 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 85.06#1 FL1
Jake DeBrusk
JAKE DEBRUSK

Rating: 77.0#26 LW

David Krejci
DAVID KREJCI

Rating: 77.4#30 C

Marcus Johansson
MARCUS JOHANSSON

Rating: 73.5#56 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.95#7 FL2
Danton Heinen
DANTON HEINEN

Rating: 74.2#46 LW

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 72.4#96 C

Karson Kuhlman
KARSON KUHLMAN
FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.33#5 FL3
Joakim Nordstrom
JOAKIM NORDSTROM

Rating: 69.7#129 LW

Noel Acciari
NOEL ACCIARI

Rating: 70.0#160 C

Chris Wagner
CHRIS WAGNER

Rating: 69.7#125 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.79#30 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Zdeno Chara
ZDENO CHARA

Rating: 75.3#25 LD

Charlie McAvoy
CHARLIE MCAVOY

Rating: 78.1#18 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.73#11 DL1
Torey Krug
TOREY KRUG

Rating: 81.1#3 LD

Brandon Carlo
BRANDON CARLO

Rating: 72.9#55 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 77.03#4 DL2
John Moore
JOHN MOORE

Rating: 71.5#95 LD

Matt Grzelcyk
MATT GRZELCYK

Rating: 73.1#51 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.30#11 DL3

A lot of good players here. Can’t wait to see them at the Men’s World Hockey Championships. Hope Matthews and Tavares get to see a lot of that Moore/Grzelcyk pairing.

Goaltenders

The two stars of the series will be back in their respective nets tonight.

Nothing more to say. Game Seven starts at 7pm ET on CBC and Sportsnet. Seems like it will be a long day waiting for this.