The Bruins face the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night for the right to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. Boston burst out to a 3-1 lead to start the series, but Toronto carries a two-game winning streak into the TD Garden.
On Boston sports radio this week, hosts and callers alike seemed to have their confidence in the Bruins sapped away by Toronto goalie Frederick Andersen’s performance at the Air Canada Centre. Andersen was a wall in front of the Bruins’ red-hot first line. Patrice Bergeron and his linemates didn’t notch a single point in either of the team’s defeats.
In the same vein, there were very little on-air faith in Tuukka Rask heading into the decider. Although Rask made 87 combined saves for the Bruins in the team’s three wins in the series, he was pulled from Game 5 after giving up four goals and eclipsed by Andersen in Game 6.
Typically I’m for yelling and being mean. But the way that they looked — as tight and tentative as they looked in that third period — you can’t go in there and say, “Listen you gutless pukes. After the season you had you’re gonna do this?” You can’t do that because I think they’re already too tight. — Jim Murray
Another Game 7 at home against a team they should beat. Another one. You know how many of these we’ve had over the years? And you’ve closed out very few of them, frankly. Take out the Stanley Cup year — the miracle, magical Tim Thomas Stanley Cup year — and you’ve lost in this sport almost every time. One of the few times you broke through was against this Leafs team five years ago. That was a miracle of miracles. You didn’t step up big in that game either. You just pulled it out late against a group of people that are perhaps even bigger choking pigs than you are. And that’s the Toronto Maple Leafs. — Michael Felger
They’re gonna screen fans coming in here tomorrow night to make sure they can give the Heimlich, because between the two teams you’re going to have 40 guys out there gagging. — Tony Massarotti
Now we’re in another series where I wouldn’t blame Rask, but I’d also say that the other guy has been much more of an influence. So how many times are we going to go through that before you say, “What’s the point of paying that guy if the other goalie is usually the difference maker?” I think at some point you are going to have to ask that question. — Michael Felger
Ordway, Merloni & Fauria with Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria (93.7 FM)
Stop panicking. Stop freaking out. Game 7 will be fine. Lock it in. — Christian Fauria
I wouldn’t worry about a Game 7 when the other team has three defensemen that are completely pathetic. Now the kid, [Travis] Dermott, he might have a decent career. He’s a rookie so we’ll give him that excuse. But Roman Polák should not even be in the NHL and [Nikita] Zaitsev is awful. — Caller
That’s the thing that scares you more than anything else. The Bruins are the better team, but it doesn’t matter in Game 7. That’s the thing that worries me. Because it’s one night. Because it’s winner-take-all. You can beat Andersen twice and hit [the] post. We’ve seen that before. A crappy call could put the other team on the power play and it’s 1-0. You lose. Weird stuff can happen on a night like that. — Rich Shertenlieb
It’s difficult to say what exactly is gonna happen. Whether Toronto is going to be able to, for a fourth time, manage to do what they’ve done in this series three other times — which is hold down Patrice Bergeron’s line and have Freddy Andersen play extremely well and hold it together defensively enough to win…Are they going to be able to do that again? Or are the Bruins, on home ice, finally playing with their lives on the line after not getting it done when they weren’t? — Joe Haggerty
Game 7 Tuukka always scares me. — Caller
Not liking them going in to this final game. Nope. So that’s going to be that. There’s your Bruins 2018 team. — Fred Toettcher
Dale & Keefe with Dale Arnold, Rich Keefe, and Barry Pederson (93.7 FM)
If the Bruins can play like they’re capable of, which is solid team defense, put the pressure on Toronto’s defense one through six, I like their chances. If they show up like they did in Game 5, I don’t. — Barry Pederson
I would expect, especially given what happened in Toronto yesterday, that the response to the Canadian national anthem here tomorrow night will be very strong. — Dale Arnold
Yeah, they’re not going to boo that here. You have civilized people here, this isn’t Toronto or Montreal. — Rich Keefe