Jul 17, 2013, 9:35 PM EST
Over at Maple Leafs Hot Stove, there’s a terrific and extremely candid interview with Toronto associate coach Greg Cronin, in which he sheds light on his mindset during the Leafs’ Game 7 collapse against Boston in the opening playoff round.
Most interesting? Despite the shift in momentum over the final 10 minutes of the third period — during which Boston erased a 4-1 deficit — Cronin was looking ahead to potential home ice advantage in the second round.
Here’s more, from the Hot Stove:
“If you watch the game over again, watch the last three minutes. Did you know that [Mikhail] Grabovski had the puck in Boston’s zone, behind the net, and they had no goalie in the net? It was 4-2, and there was just around 2 minutes to go in the game.
“I was not in any shape or form worried about being under assault like we were in Game 5. It just wasn’t happening. It wasn’t happening up until that point. We had the puck in their zone, and Grabovski turned the puck over. They came up the ice, [David] Krejci passed it up to [Milan] Lucic, and Lucic skated by our bench. There was about a minute and 45 seconds to go and he dumped the puck in.
“I looked at the clock and I saw the Rangers were beating Washington. This was how comfortable I was. I was thinking, ‘the Rangers won and we’re going to have home ice for the next round of the playoffs.’
“That’s what I thought in my head. I didn’t feel that the Bruins had established any consistent threat. They had some rushes where they came into the zone and dumped it in and had a couple of shots from the boards, but there wasn’t any sustained pressure that when you’re a coach you think, ‘oh boy we’re in trouble.’
“Until Lucic scored the goal.”
Lucic’s goal came with 1:22 left in the contest. Thirty-one seconds later Patrice Bergeron scored the equalizer, then potted the game-winner just 6:05 into overtime.
The comeback, as has been stated on numerous occasions, was truly one for the ages. The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period, something that Cronin tried to explain.
“I think were were looking at a group of players who had never been in that situation before in their careers,” he said. “Did the pressure get to them?
“I don’t think they’d be human if didn’t.”
Dec 7, 2013, 7:48 PM EST
Dec 7, 2013, 7:25 PM EST
Will not return.
Dec 7, 2013, 7:01 PM EST
Pair of forwards going to San Jose.
Dec 7, 2013, 6:31 PM EST
Dallas unsuccessful on that power play.
Dec 7, 2013, 5:55 PM EST
He finished the game with four points.
Dec 7, 2013, 5:28 PM EST
Good news for Nashville.
Dec 7, 2013, 4:48 PM EST
After 20 seasons, this could be it.
Dec 7, 2013, 3:34 PM EST
He had three head or neck injuries last season.
Dec 7, 2013, 3:02 PM EST
He’s battled injuries the past two seasons.
Dec 7, 2013, 2:02 PM EST
He was their fourth-round pick in 2009.
Dec 7, 2013, 1:08 PM EST
He was the Panthers’ all-time leader in assists.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:13 PM EST
Losing blue liners is not optimal.
Dec 7, 2013, 10:54 AM EST
It’s getting grumpy in Winnipeg.
Dec 7, 2013, 10:02 AM EST
That’s a big sigh of relief for Boston.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:15 AM EST
It’s all about the chances.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:15 AM EST
Jean-Sebastien Giguere remains undefeated.
Dec 6, 2013, 11:59 PM EST
Watch the video to decide for yourself.
Dec 6, 2013, 11:10 PM EST
Blackhawks have now lost three in a row.
Dec 6, 2013, 10:36 PM EST
Tough two days for San Jose.
Dec 6, 2013, 10:15 PM EST
Next summer, they’ll be talking about shrinking goalie sweaters.
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