Leafs Meltdown Too Familiar
By: Mike Stone
Game 7. Boston Garden. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who trailed in the series 3 games to 1, were leading the Bruins 4-1 with just over 9 minutes to play. The Leafs and their long suffering fans were getting ready to face the New York Rangers in the next round. Unfortunately for them, nobody decided to tell the Bruins. A Nathan Horton goal with just over 9 minutes left made it 4-2. Boston pulled goalie Tuukka Rask and Milan Lucic scored with 1:22 left making it 4-3 and then Patrice Bergeron tied it with just 51 seconds left, sending the game into overtime. Bergeron then scored the series winner 6:05 into overtime, sending the Garden into a frenzy and Leaf nation into depression.
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Red Wing fans should not spend a lot of time making fun of their Leaf brethren. Remember what happened to the Wings in game 4 of their series with the Los Angeles Kings in 2001. The Wings were leading the series 2 games to 1 and led the game 3-0 with just over six minutes left. A Scott Thomas goal made it 3-1 with 6:07 to play. A Jozef Stumpel tally cut it to 3-2 with 2:27 left. And then with 53 seconds left Brian Smolinski tied it. And then in overtime Eric Bleanger won it for the Kings tying the series at 2-2. The Kings would go on to win the next two games to win the series in six games.