“We do not need this to finish” – Victoria Information

When the Maple Leafs signed John Tavares last summer, they had moments like these in mind.

Toronto will face the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight, and one of the team’s star centers, knowing how it’s doing, is likely to go a long way in keeping the franchise going for the first round over the first Round of playoff time has passed since 2004.

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“To get to where we ultimately want to go, to achieve the ultimate goal and to play a Stanley Cup, you will have opportunities like this,” said Tavares after skating the Leafs at TD Garden that morning. “Those are the things that you have to go through – games that you have to win.

“This is playoff hockey. That’s what it’s about. Just go out there and leave everything at stake. “

The Leafs missed a chance to advance to the conference semifinals when they lost 4-2 at home in Game 6 on Sunday.

Toronto could have won 3-1 in Game 4 at the Scotiabank Arena, but lost 5-4 in the middle of a back-and-forth series in which neither team had consecutive wins and the visitors a 4-2 – Hold the record.

The Leafs lost seven games to the Bruins at this stage of the playoffs last spring, after losing to Boston in a devastating game 7 loss in 2013 on Miserable Night.

“There are two really good teams that are playing,” said Toronto head coach Mike Babcock. “When you look at the National Hockey League, you see a lot, you see how close it is. The most important thing for me is that we are going in the right direction. We’re building a program that I think gives us a real chance. We have been here before.

“We have the feeling that we are better positioned for this. You need to keep going until you get through these opportunities and move forward. That is a challenge for us. “

When asked how it felt to wake up on the morning of a game 7, Leafs center Auston Matthews, who has scored five goals in his last four games, kept his cards close to his waist.

“Like every other game day, I think,” said the 21-year-old. “Of course it’s a big game for us, but I don’t think the mentality will change or anything.

“You want to go in and play your best game. It’s about winning or going home. “

In order for the Leafs to continue playing, they have to solve a Bruins power play, which is a stunning 7v16 game in the series. Toronto struggled on penalties in the face-off circle and could use Tavares in a draw to gain more possession.

Tavares also wants to make a contribution on the offensive. Despite playing well against the Bruins’ top line at 5v5, he only has an empty goal while line mate Mitch Marner has a single point with even strength.

Babcock said his message to the team before the puck drop was easy – embrace the moment.

“If you’re Mitch Marner at seven or eight years old and you play street hockey, what type were you? You were the one who scored the overtime winner the night before, ”said the coach. “Be that guy again. But enjoy what you are doing. The feeling of fear and the feeling of a little tightness is what you are supposed to feel.

“It helps you respond better. It helps you be faster. It means that you are alive. Don’t we all want to be alive? “

The Leafs hope so when they wake up tomorrow morning.

“We want to keep playing,” said Tavares. “We don’t want this to end.”

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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