UPDATE (4:40 p.m. ET): LEAFS CONFIRM HOLZER CALLUP
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a roster move before Game 7 as the team called up defenceman Korbinian Holzer Monday.
It remains unclear if Holzer will suit up for the Leafs in Game 7.
The team is already missing defencemen Mark Fraser and Mike Kostka – who both are done for the series with various injuries.
Holzer played 22 games with the Leafs this season, posting two goals with one assist and a minus-12 rating.
The 25-year-old Germany spent most of the season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, where he recorded one goal and 10 assists with 46 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating in 46 games.
The Leafs can advance to the second round with a win in Boston Monday night.
UPDATE (3:45 p.m. ET) OFFICIATING CREW REVEALED
Brad Watson and Dan O’Halloran have been named the referees for Game 7 at TD Garden. Shane Heyer and Brad Kovachik will take on the linesmen duties.
Listen to Game 7 between the Maple Leafs and Bruins on Sportsnet 590 The Fan at 7:00 p.m. ET
UPDATE (3:25 p.m. ET) JVR HAVING COMEBACK DÉJÀ VU
Three years ago during the 2009-10 Stanley Cup playoffs, James van Riemsdyk was on a Philadelphia Flyers team that was down 3-0 in an Eastern Conference semi-final series with the Boston Bruins. His Flyers did the unthinkable and stormed back to win the series – they even overcame a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 to win the deciding game and the series 4-3.
This year, JVR finds himself in a similar situation as his Maple Leafs have battled back from a 3-1 deficit and are ready for a pivotal Game 7. The young winger is using his experience from that 2010 series and applying a “one game at a time” mentality it to his current team.
“It’s two different teams but at the same time we both have that belief that we can win one game at a time and keep the series alive and I think that’s what we’ve done,” van Riemsdyk said Monday. “We’ve taken it one game at a time and now here we are and we know the challenge ahead of us tonight.”
UPDATE (2:15 p.m. ET) LEAFS PUT ON THEIR GAME FACES
With less than five hours before puck drop, the Leafs are making their final preparations and getting mentally ready for what is the most important game of the season.
Leafs winger Clarke MaCarthur told reporters him and his teammates “are getting antsy” and “itching to find a way to win tonight and move on.”
MaCarthur, who has two goals in the last three games since being a healthy scratch in Games 2 and 3, added, “In these Game 7’s you find out what you’re made of.”
UPDATE (12:20 p.m. ET) HOLZER SET TO JOIN LEAFS
Toronto Marlies defenceman Korbinian Holzer is on a flight to Boston to join the Leafs as a possible reinforcement on the blue-line.
Holzer was not at Marlies practice Monday morning and there is no word yet on whether he’ll be in the lineup and if so who he’d replace.
The Leafs have not officially recalled Holzer just yet, but are expected to before 5pm ET. The Marlies, who are currently tied 1-1 in their second round series with the Grand Rapids Griffins, don’t play again until Wednesday.
UPDATE (10:55 a.m. ET) BRUINS LAND IN BOSTON
The Boston Bruins landed at Logan International Airport in Massachusetts late Monday morning about eight hours prior to their Game 7 matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
UPDATE (10:03 a.m. ET) BRUINS FINALLY FLY HOME
The Bruins couldn’t close out their first-round series with the Maple Leafs in Game 6 Sunday and after the loss they couldn’t even leave the city to head home for Game 7, which takes place Monday. They didn’t fly out of Toronto until shortly after 9:00 a.m. ET Monday.
Following the Leafs’ 2-1 win that evened the series at three games apiece, the Bruins released the following statement regarding the team’s travel plans.
“Late during tonight’s game we were made aware that there was a malfunction with our airplane. As a result we are staying in Toronto on Sunday night and the team will travel to Boston on Monday morning.”
The Leafs, on the other hand, arrived in Boston last night.
Some feel the delay could take away the feeling of home ice advantage that the Bruins will have at the TD Garden Monday.
LEAFS NATION SHOWING SUPPORT
Even though Game 7 is taking place in Boston, the Greater Toronto Area is abuzz with pride for the Blue & White.
As hockey fans know, Toronto had been starved for playoff hockey for the last nine years and Leafs fans have supported their team in passionate and creative ways.
Even hockey prodigy Connor McDavid of of the Erie Otters has expressed his excitement for Monday’s showdown. McDavid, currently the front runner to be the top selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, grew up a Leafs fan in Newmarket, Ont., and attended Game 4 at the Air Canada Centre last week.
BOSTON (AP) – The Toronto Maple Leafs are well aware of their unflattering history. The longest current Stanley Cup drought among teams that have won it at least once. No playoff series victories in almost a decade. A 1-8 record in series when falling behind 3-1 and not overcoming such a deficit in roughly 71 years.
Facing a Bruins team that is no stranger to Game 7 makes Monday night’s win-or-go-home matchup in Boston all the more interesting.
Toronto entered this Eastern Conference quarterfinal as the underdog in its first postseason appearance since 2004, when it defeated Ottawa in seven games before falling to Philadelphia in six in the second round.
The Leafs promptly fell behind 3-1 in this series and appeared to be headed towards a quick exit before taking Game 5 on the road, 2-1, and winning by the same score at home on Sunday.
Now, Toronto has a chance to overturn a 3-1 deficit for the first time since beating Detroit in the 1942 Stanley Cup finals after losing the first three games.
“We know we’re going to go into a hostile building in Boston,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “We know the passion in their market and their fans. We’ve been there already, we know what we’re heading to and we just have to make sure that we play the game to a higher level than we did (Sunday). Because we know they will.”
Captain Dion Phaneuf and former Bruin Phil Kessel scored in the third period Sunday while James Reimer made 29 saves for Toronto, which earned its first home playoff win over Boston since March 31, 1959.
Kessel has three goals in the series after posting that same amount in his first 22 career games against the Original Six rival.
“He’s a goal-scorer and he knows how to find and create space,” Carlyle said. “When he comes late on the ice, you can see the intimidation he has with his speed and skills. We have asked him to play more stop-and-go hockey instead of a specifically a rush game.”
The Maple Leafs are 12-9 all-time in Game 7s while Boston is 12-11. Monday will mark the sixth straight postseason the Bruins have played in a seventh game, going 3-4 in that span, and each victory came during their 2011 run to the Stanley Cup.
Milan Lucic scored his first goal in the series with 46 seconds remaining Sunday to prevent the shutout. Boston has been held scoreless through at least the first 50 minutes in each of the last two contests.
“I didn’t think (puck management) was very good and as I said to our players, we’ve been a Jekyll-and-Hyde team all year, and that’s what you’re seeing right now,” coach Claude Julien said. “I think it’s important for us to bring the good Bruins team to the table for Game 7.”
Prior to losing Game 2 and Game 5, the Bruins had won six straight home matchups with Toronto. Game 1 marked their only playoff victory in Boston in their last six tries, though.
“They’re a good team,” said forward Patrice Bergeron, whose only point in the series was a goal in Game 4. “We never said it was going to be an easy series. Here we are now and it’s all about one game. Whatever happened in the first six games doesn’t matter. It’s all about (Monday) now.”
It’s unclear if Toronto center Tyler Bozak, who scored a short-handed goal in Game 5, will be able to play Monday after being a late scratch with an undisclosed injury for Game 6 despite participating in warmups.
“We’ll continue to reassess and re-evaluate and see what (Monday) brings,” Carlyle said.
The Bruins will not fly back to Boston until Monday morning after their plane was grounded Sunday night due to a malfunction.