The Toronto Maple Leafs once again faltered in a Game 7, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to be eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t had much luck when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They haven’t won a series since 2004 and have terrible memories of Game 7. This time, they reached the final game of the first round once again, with a chance to send home the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. .
Instead, it was the same old story for the Maple Leafs as they lost 2-1 to be eliminated from the playoffs. Once again, the Maple Leafs fan base was heartbroken that the team was unable to overcome the hurdle that is the first round.
Maple Leafs fans grieve after another Game 7 loss
As if this loss wasn’t enough, the Leafs now have the longest active drought without a playoff series win. via SportsNet Stats.
The Leafs trailed 1-0 after a Nick Paul goal. However, it seemed that Toronto had equalized with a tremendous goal from captain John Tavares. The potential game-tying goal of the game was quickly nullified, as defenseman Justin Holl interfered with Tampa Bay forward Anthony Cirelli on the play.
Toronto defenseman Morgan Reilly would eventually tie things up in the second with a goal of his own. Less than three minutes later, Paul scored his second goal of the game to give the Lightning the lead, and they didn’t look back.
The Maple Leafs had 31 shots on goal, but 30 of them were saved by goalie Andrei Vasilevsky.
Toronto had a chance to eliminate Tampa Bay in game 6, as they held a 3-2 series lead. Ultimately, the Lightning forced overtime and left the ice with a 4-3 win to send the series back to Toronto.
Since 2004, this is Toronto’s fourth loss in Game 7. It may not have been as painful as the 2013 edition after its 4-1 third-period lead turned into a 5-4 loss at overtime against the Boston Bruins, but this latest loss surely has to hurt a fan base that has been waiting patiently for the team to earn a playoff series victory. They seemed so close and gave the defending Stanley Cup champions a real fight to the bitter end. But it was not enough.
Now comes an offseason of uncertainty for the Maple Leafs, as they try to figure out how they can finally get past Round 1.