It’s unlike anything else in sports, Game 7, and tonight we’ve got two great ones on tap to satisfy your betting needs. The Bruins have been unable to put away the pesky Leafs and will host them tonight, and the Capitals will take on the Rangers in their Game 7. Both games promise to be intense, hard-fought affairs, but don’t be surprised if the unexpected occurs. These one-game scenarios are notorious for wild events unfolding, and as a result I think both road teams provide excellent value this evening. Read on below for further thoughts on both of these pivotal clashes.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+165) @ Boston Bruins (-185)
This is a game nobody in their wildest imagination could have foreseen. The plucky, underdog Toronto Maple Leafs riddled with playoff jitters have forced a Game 7 and now all the pressure in the world falls on the Boston Bruins. Boston has had a wealth of playoff experience in recent years, though many times there has been great emphasis on their blown leads in series. Will such a scenario unfold on Monday night? The value is right, and count on it happening. For whatever reason, Boston has stopped doing the things that made them successful earlier in the year. They’ve stopped skating and no longer hold an intimidation edge over the Leafs. In recent games, Toronto has taken the play to Boston, utilizing their speed and quickness. Boston has played a ton of games in recent weeks and you can see the fatigue has to be affecting them
Look for the Leafs to enter this contest with a ‘nothing to lose’ approach. They are truly playing with house money. Back in January, nobody imagine the Leafs would be in this position, one-game to knock off the always difficult Boston Bruins. But here they are, confident and lose and ready to make history for the loyal fans of Leafs Nation. Playing on the road should no longer be an element that phases this team, despite their youth. Toronto has matured on the fly and look for them to stick to their game-plan and secure yet another solid victory.
Expect Toronto’s speed to once again give Boston’s tired team fits. Tuukka Rask is excellent, but Toronto has the ability to bombard him with shots and eventually the Finnish netminder should crack. Andrew Ference is likely out on the back-end again for the Bruins, a big loss as he is a true stabilizing presence for them on the blue-line. For the Leafs, Tyler Bozak will likely also be out injured. Joe Colborne, a Bruins draft pick, filled in last night and did fine in his place. Bozak is a key piece of Toronto’s success, but the Leafs should be able to manage because of James Reimer. Reimer is as hot as anybody in the league right now and expect ‘Optimus Reim’ to once again give the blue and white a shot at winning. Momentum is on their side, and at a shockingly large underdog price, feel comfortable backing the Leafs tonight in Game 7.
PICK = Toronto (+165)
For the other Game 7 tonight, face-off goes an hour later at 8:00 P.M. EST. The Rangers staved off elimination yesterday and forced a tonight’s contest. Read below for the bonus thoughts for this key clash.
Bonus Pick #1: NY Rangers (+125) The winner of this Caps/Rangers Game 7 will take on the winner of the Leafs/Bruins so there’s a ton of intrigue surrounding both of these games. As I’ve said all along with this series, I expected seven games and I expected New York to ultimately prevail. The Rangers play s tyle most conducive for playoff hockey and their gritty approach will spur them to a big Game 7 victory. They give up minimal chances, and when they do Henrik Lundqvist is there to clean up the mess. The Rangers remain a darkhorse for the Stanley Cup, and even with injuries to Marc Staal and Ryane Clowe, look for the depth of the Rangers’ forwards to wear down a vulnerable Capitals defense. The Rangers were built for games like this, and with Rick Nash finally busting his slump, look for a convincing Game 7 victory from the Blueshirts.