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Morning Coffee: Maple Leafs defy the odds to force Game 7 versus Bruins


The Toronto Maple Leafs were completely written off after falling behind 3-1 to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Six days later, they have an opportunity to rewrite the script of their first round series.

William Nylander to score 2+ goals was a winner last night at FanDuel as the Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 2-1 to force a Game 7 in Boston on Saturday night.

Despite being held to two goals or fewer in four straight and five of the six games in the series, Toronto has rallied with back-to-back victories to force a winner-take-all.

The Maple Leafs have defied the odds to become the fourth team in franchise history and the 65th team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in a Stanley Cup Playoffs series.

The stage is set for the third Game 7 between Toronto and Boston in the last six years.

The Bruins, which won the previous two Game 7s between these teams, opened as the favourite to win the series finale on home ice on Saturday night at FanDuel.

The Maple Leafs are in familiar territory as the underdog once again.

Toronto was already written off after falling behind 3-1 in the series.

Now the Maple Leafs have another opportunity to prove their doubters wrong with the most impressive comeback of the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This is the Morning Coffee for Friday, May 3rd, 2024.

Maple Leafs Defy The Odds To Force Game 7 Versus Bruins

A seven-game series between Toronto and Boston was always considered the most likely outcome at FanDuel.

The Bruins to win in seven was the favourite in the exact series outcome market at +430 odds.

The Maple Leafs to win in seven was the second choice in that market at +440.

Of course, it was easy to forget about a seven-game series when Toronto lost its superstar sniper to injury after getting outscored 7-3 in back-to-back losses on home ice to fall behind 3-1 in the series.

At the time, the Maple Leafs’ odds to reach the second round ballooned all the way to +740 at FanDuel.

That number represents just an 11.9 per cent implied chance.

Fast-forward six days later, Toronto is down from +740 to +122 to advance to the second round at FanDuel.

The Maple Leafs went from 42-to-1 to 11-to-1 to reach the Stanley Cup Final at FanDuel.

Their odds to win the Stanley Cup have been cut all the way from 80-to-1 to 26-to-1.

Of course, all that matters for Leafs Nation is Game 7.

The Bruins are -146 to win Saturday night’s finale.

It will be interesting to see the atmosphere in Boston this weekend and how the home team responds after dropping back-to-back games with a chance to clinch.

The Bruins went from the underdog to the favourite to win Game 6 last night at FanDuel after it was confirmed that Auston Matthews would not play.

Despite holding Toronto to two goals once again, Boston fell to 0-6 in its last six potential series-clinching games.

A case can be made that the pressure is on Boston now as they try to avoid blowing a 3-1 series lead.

Just six days ago, Leafs Nation was already talking about the changes that need to be made this offseason to address everything that went wrong in the first round.

Now there’s only one thing that matters.

The stage is set for an epic Game 7 on Saturday night.

A FanDuel Best Bet For This Weekend

The FanDuel Best Bet recommendations in this column have been absolutely on fire in recent weeks.

That said, there’s nothing worse than the feeling that happens when making the wrong decision when debating between a pair of wagers to give out as the top play.

In Thursday’s column, the debate was between Matthew Knies 2+ shots on goal and a Same Game Parlay with Knies 1+ shot on goal, William Nylander 2+ shots on goal and Tyler Bertuzzi 2+ shots on goal.

I went with the latter in the column and fell short by a single shot when Bertuzzi ended up with one.

For the record, Knies 2+ shots on goal cashed midway through the second period. 

Turning the page this morning, we have a pair of Game 6s to work with as we attempt to wrap up the week with another winner.

The Vancouver Canucks have another opportunity to advance to the second round as a +110 underdog for Game 6 on the road against the Nashville Predators.

The Dallas Stars can also clinch their series on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights in a contest that has hovered around a pick’em at FanDuel.

For my FanDuel Best Bet, I’ll lock in a Same Game Parlay with Jason Zucker 2+ shots on goal and the alt under 8.5 goals at -137 odds.

Each of the past three games between Vancouver and Nashville has been decided by one goal. 

None of the first five games in the series has featured more than seven goals. 

I’m expecting another low-scoring affair tonight.

Meanwhile, Zucker was acquired by Nashville at the trade deadline to give the team some scoring depth. 

Zucker has delivered this postseason with three points in five games.

He’s also second on the Predators with 13 shots on goal – an average of 2.6 shots on goal per game.

Zucker has registered at least two shots on goal in four of the five games, including a series-best four shots on goal in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win in Game 5.

I’ll lock in Zucker 2+ shots on goal and the alt under 8.5 total goals at -135 odds as my FanDuel Best Bet. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!