Game 7 of an NHL series is one of the most exciting and most stressful games to watch as a sports fan. When you battle through 6 games, only to end up even, and your whole season, made up of another 82 games, are put on the line, everything laid down, like a crazy all-in poker bet, it’s enough to give even the most stoic fan a heart attack!
So folks, that’s what’s happening tonight and tomorrow as some giants who weren’t expected to have to fight this far into Round One, will find themselves against some real usurpers, who will be trying hard to steal the coveted game on enemy ice.
Toronto vs. Boston – Series tied 3-3
This series is a haunted one, with two of the most recent playoff meetings (2013 and 2018), ending in game sevens, which unfortunately for the Leafs, ended up in bitter losses to Boston, because both were lost after having commanding leads in the third. So no one needs to guess why they are the underdogs in this last game tonight, despite having the lead throughout the series and being the best on-the-road team in the NHL.
This is a great bet, because three should be the lucky charm for Buds, as they will band together to rewrite history and break away from their playoff demons. It’s highly unlikely Boston will win a third seventh game against Toronto who is one of the most offensively talented teams in the league. Expect for it to be a wild and hard fought one with a lot of emotion and speed. At the end, it could come down to officiating or even overtime, which will take a few years off every Leafs and Bruins life. Can’t wait!
Pick: Leafs win, under 6 goals
Moneyline: Toronto Maple Leafs +120 / Boston Bruins – 140
Carolina vs. Washington – Series tied 3-3
With so much animosity and a lot of skill and grit, not many would have predicted that the Hurricanes would be able to ride the wave of a great lead up to the post-season and surf their way to a Game 7 against the most recent Stanley Cup champions. With a great game last night, and convincing win of 5-2 at home, the Canes have pushed their way to the final battle, to see how far this almost Cinderella like team can take it. It doesn’t seem midnight has struck yet.
The Hurricanes refused to go away and won another game in Raleigh, without their celebrations, but if they can pull off a win tomorrow, it just might come back! It wasn’t without controversy as is the standard in this match up. They had the lead at 3-2 but the Capitals thought they tied it as Alex Ovechkin forced a loose puck into the net. But it got waved off due to goaltender interference and then went to review, where the call was confirmed. Ovechkin also got ejected for ironically applauding the referees on the decision. This untimely call gave the Canes the momentum back and they will ultimately try to carry over into the deciding game.
Pick: Hurricanes win, 6 plus goals
Moneyline: Carolina Hurricanes +120 / Washington Capitals -140
Vegas vs. San Jose – Series tied 3-3
This match up has had a lot of vitriol despite the Vegas Golden Knights only being 2 years old. The fight and dirty words, the blood, sweat and punches these two teams have exchanged is exhaustive. With both having legacies and a devoted fan base to fight for, it’s really not surprising that this match up will need seven games to find a winner.
Vegas was in the Stnaley Cup final last year against Washington, and would like to show everyone that they were not a one-shot or one-trick pony, and that this team is made to win right from the start. The San Jose Sharks have a long storied and painful history of icing incredible teams in the regular season, only to choke in the playoffs and lose their lustre quickly when facing usurpers. It’s no doubt this will be ‘Big Joe’ Thornton‘s last NHL playoffs, and he sets to retire, after so much adversity and lost chances, his story seems like one that won’t fizzle out and that his team mates will want to make a run of it, if not for him, but for this roster and fans who’ve been long suffering.
That’s why it was only fitting that Tomas Hertl scored the winning goal in Game 5 promising their fans a Game 7 at home. The 25-year-old Czech forward told the San Jose crowd that the Sharks will come back home and force a Game 7 after they won their first must-win match on Thursday. Smells like a team of destiny in the West is emerging.
Pick: Sharks win, 6 plus goals
Moneyline: Vegas Golden Knights -110 / San Jose Sharks -110
No matter who wins, these Game 7s are what put spice and excitement into the playoffs and it’s exactly why Round One can be so crazy. Teams you thought would never have a chance are now pushing champions to the brink! And that’s exactly why the NHL is so damn awesome! Enjoy!