TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS VS BOSTON BRUINS- 3:00PM EDT/12:00PM PDT- (Toronto leads 3-2)
There’s definitely the fear of another collapse in Toronto, but for the most part the Leafs are in a good spot. They have 2 chances to get this done, though it’s obviously preferable to win it today at home than having to try and do this in Boston in a winner take all. They’re outplaying the Bruins, not by a wide margin, but enough to take the lead, and have been getting good goaltending and some favourable calls (which as we know, never happens when you play the Bruins). They can’t rely on bounces though, and are going to have to keep doing the little things that have been working for them. They need to keep the Bruins on the perimeter and give Frederik Andersen the chance to make the saves. They need to stay out of the box, and continue to take advantage of any power plays they do get. And as they have through most of this series, their big players need to be better than those in black and yellow. The Bruins would do well to get the frustrations of the calls that haven’t gone their way out of their heads. They don’t make for convincing victims, and it’s not going to change anything. They may think they’re underdogs, but losing to Toronto will definitely qualify as another upset in this crazy first round.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS SAN JOSE SHARKS- 7:00PM EDT/4:00PM PDT (Vegas leads 3-2)
They blew a chance to wrap this up in 5 and now, with the Sharks gaining some confidence, we get a chance to see what the Golden Knights are made of. Even though the Sharks finished above Vegas in the standings, the way these two teams played heading into the playoffs would make this feel like a bit of an upset should San Jose pull it off. They have a tough road ahead of them, as the Golden Knights are pretty tough to beat at home, but if they can get another strong performance from Martin Jones they’ll be back in the Bay Area for a Game 7 Tuesday. In all 3 of Vegas’ series wins last year, they clinched on the road, will that hold true?
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Irish thrashers Gama Bomb’s song remembering the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland in 2016 (google it!). Enjoy the games, folks!