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Jake The Snake Leads The Way In Epic Game 7; Bruins Open Round 2 Saturday At 3 In Tampa

Fucking right, Grizz.

In a wildly entertaining, ass-clenchingly intense Game 7 that resembled so many of their 82 regular season tilts, the Boston Bruins fought off two periods of sloppy play before exploding for an unanswered four-goal outburst in the third to defeat a valiant Toronto Maple Leafs squad 7-4 and send them onto to their sunny vacation destinations. In the end, the Toronto defense was who we thought they were. So we’re onto Tampa Bay.

After trading two periods of punches in a manner that recalled Ali-Frazier (3 goals on 3 straight shots at one point), the Bruins went into the third down 4-3. How many times did we say this year, “Just need the next one” but the team would instead get the next few to put the game away? Well that’s exactly what they did when they needed to the most. The team stepped up in the third and it seemed like every bounce that went against them in the first two stanzas went their way in the third.

1:10 into the third while play was 4-on-4, Torey Krug (2-7–9 in the series) tied the game with a slot-top laser that Freddy Andersen was late on and got the crowd jacked up.

Soon enough they’d blow the roof off the place. The goal also gave us this fantastic photo.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

Yeah, this one.

Nash cost the Bs a PP with 16:19 left in the third by taking a foolish retaliatory penalty/blessing in disguise after getting mugged by Zach Hyman. Giving the Leafs more ice to play with did not seem like the best move of the night given the first 40 minutes. But then again, Jake DeBrusk would also have more ice to play with thanks to Nash’s cross-check (if you’re gonna give a guy some payback, make it worth it). And with :16 left of 4-on-4 play, a Game 7 legend was born.

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That 5-hole? Holy shit, what is this, “The Miracle of Life”? (Link is NSFL yet life-giving. Such an enigma. You’ve been warned.) He spun Jake Gardiner like a top then got buried into the boards just after he beat Andersen. He also scored the biggest goal of his life.

No but seriously, how fucking great was Jake this series? He was consistently going balls-out and the results show: 5 goals (tied for 2nd) and 2 assists. Point-per-game in your first playoff series? Series-clincher? Not a big deal.

jakethesnake

“It’s the one that says ‘Bad Mother Fucker’.”

There was still plenty of time for Toronto to come back but they couldn’t muster much of an attack under the smothering, smashing Bruins, and the Leafs tallied just eight shots in the third. Then David Pastrnak added some much-needed insurance.

gardinergoalie

Jake “I Want To Be A Goalie!” Gardiner, ladies and gentlemen.

Brad Marchand added an ENG with 50.9 left to send the joint into delirium. It was the third straight goal that Gardiner was on the ice for and he finished with a -5. A really rough night for him but to his credit, he answered all of the phrases-posed-as-questions thrown his way after the game.

Alright, it’s fucking late and I need to hit the rack. Keep an eye for a special Thursday Spittin’ Chiclets, where we go over the epic Game 7.

Here’s some more buds for your bowl…

*Shoutout to the Garden faithful. Sometimes during the playoffs, for whatever audio reasons on whatever feeds, the sound you hear on TV doesn’t match the intensity of the building. It was anxious at times sure, but they were vocal and really stepped it up in third. The only blemish was the Bronx cheers for Rask on an easy save. Dumb shit when you’re team is very much in the game.

*The Bs outscored Toronto 10-3 in 3rd periods.

*As expected, the Bruins D (5-15–20) outscored Toronto’s D (1-11–12). Collective +/-? Boston +11, Toronto -10.

*Despite some 1980-ish numbers, Freddy was really good for most of the series but the bubble burst last night. While he made some great saves in the 2nd in stopping all 13 shots, he was also giving up tons of rebounds and dodging bullets. It seemed inevitable the Bs would break through and they did. Three times. He ended the series 3-3 with a 3.76 and .896.

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*McQuaid had a hard, spinning crash into the end boards after making a sprawling poke check to deny a scoring chance in the second and was down for quite a bit. He eventually returned to the game (duh) and finished with a team-low 9:42 of ice-time.

*Kevan Miller (1-3–4) was a horse.

*Shoutout to Morgan Rielly for coming back after taking a Big Zee shot to the mug. Huge balls.

*Pasta’s pass on Jake’s first goal was sick, right on his stick in the crease.

*Danton Heinen gave the Bs another brief lead after Butch inserted him back into the line-up after opting for Tommy Wingels in Game 6.

*Home teams are now 100-70 in Game 7s.

*This was the highest-scoring Game 7 since 1992.

*It was also the most goals by the Bruins in a Game 7 with 7

*I didn’t hear JVR’s name on the telecast until Freddy got yanked. He was a -3, 0 SOG, and 12:48 TOI.

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*After Pasta’s insurance tally, the Bs went into sort of a Claude mode—low risk plays, hard-nosed team D, clog the middle—and the Leafs only got one threatening shot, a hard Auston Matthews blast that Rask made a huge save on with 1:50 left.

*That’s now a 3-6 record in Game 7s for Babcock.

*However this post-season ends up, this was a game for the ages and whether you watched it in the rink or at a biker bar in Quebec, you’ll always remember where you were years from now. Even those with no skin in the game were gnawing nails and pitting out.

*Now for Tuukka (4-3, 2.94, .899). Was it a great series for him? No. But he was better than the other guy when it mattered most, especially in the final period of the series. Like I mentioned in Dave’s Emergency Press Conference after the 2nd, 4 goals on 12 shots is 4 goals on 12 shots. He definitely should have had the second one. But when I was finally able to watch the replays after the game, I’m not sure how much you can fault him for Marleau’s unreal tip and a deflection of his defenseman’s stick. Then he got Jocelyne Lamoureux’d when Kasperi Kapanen finally beat him. After that? Nothing for the last 33:55. Also, each series is different. This one had a lot of sloppy play and goals. But the bottom line is, they’re moving on.