Often times when it comes down to a Game 7 in a playoff series in the National Hockey League we are met with largely uneventful games as both teams play extremely tight or even very one sided contests where one team clearly runs away with it. Tonight's Game 7 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins has been neither of those.
Through two periods of play we have had a number of lead changes, tie games, and a total of 7 goals between both teams to produce one of the most exciting Game 7 experiences we are likely to get some for time to come, although I wouldn't mind a few more in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs please. The highlight of the night however has to be the incredible shorthanded goal that was scored by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen, a goal that gave the Leafs the lead in a hotly contested game.
Kapanen was gifted a breakaway when Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand made a huge mistake at the blue line by fanning on a shot during a Bruins power play, and that was the only opening that Kapanen needed on the play. The 21 year old Maple Leaf was then engaged in a race for the puck with Marchand and he won that race cleanly despite the fact that Marchand had a bit of a head start, in terms of distance not stride. As Kapanen caught up to Marchand the Bruins agitator lost the physical battle and that left Kapanen all alone with ruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Despite the fact that he is one of the most experienced goaltenders in the National Hockey League Kapanen's moves were too much for Rask, and the Leafs forward recorded Toronto's fourth goal of the game. It was a particularly rough one for Rask as it was the fourth goal he gave up on just 12 shots from the Maple Leafs at that point, although it would not be fair at all to blame him for this one.
The game isn't over yet though, a one goal lead heading into the third period of Game 7 has to feel good for Toronto, but Boston has the talent to get back into this game.
Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch/CSM/Zuma