We’ve reached the moment that every fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been waiting for since last year’s disappointing playoff exit.
Take a deep breath.
Soak it in.
The Maple Leafs are one victory away from clinching their first Stanley Cup Playoffs series win in almost 20 years.
After taking three of the first five games against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto will have as many as two chances to eliminate the Lightning and advance to the second round.
Can they finally end the drought and punch their ticket to Round 2?
Toronto is once again a heavy favourite to advance at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Wednesday, May 11th, 2022.
Maple Leafs Rally To Win Game 5
For a brief moment last night, it looked like Tampa Bay was in complete control of Game 5.
Steven Stamkos opened the scoring with his 34th career playoff goal.
Stamkos to score was +168 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Less than a minute later, Victor Hedman scored his 10th career playoff power-play goal to make it 2-0 Lightning.
Hedman to score was +270.
Trailing 2-0 heading into the second period, I saw the Maple Leafs as high as +290 on the money line at FanDuel Sportsbook.
After Jack Campbell kept the deficit at two with a couple of key saves, John Tavares got Toronto on the board with his first goal of the playoffs.
Tavares to score was +240.
Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander scored back-to-back goals to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead.
After Ryan McDonagh tied it for Tampa Bay, the stage was set for the Hart Memorial Trophy favourite to make a statement.
With under seven minutes to go in regulation, Auston Matthews scored his third goal of the series on a rebound off a Mitch Marner shot to give Toronto the lead.
Maple Leafs fans were absolutely buzzing after Matthews scored the eventual game-winner.
It was that much sweeter for anybody that jumped on the Matthews to score Super Boost at FanDuel Sportsbook at +200.
Matthews to score and Toronto to win was +180 at FanDuel.
Meanwhile, Jack Campbell showed up big time with 32 saves.
The over/under on his saves prop was 28.5.
Looking at the adjusted series prices at FanDuel Sportsbook this morning, the Maple Leafs are now -350 to advance.
That number represents a 77.8 per cent implied win probability.
Will they punch their ticket to the second round on Thursday night in Tampa Bay?
Toronto is currently +110 to win Game 6.
That number represents a 47.6 per cent implied win probability.
When a best-of-seven NHL series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 79.1 per cent of the time.
The Maple Leafs are 19-7 all-time when leading a best-of-seven series 3-2.
However, based on their recent history, there’s no room for Toronto hockey fans to feel comfortable right now, especially considering the Lightning’s dominance off a loss.
Tampa Bay is 17-0 with a plus-39 goal differential following a loss in the playoffs over the last three seasons.
No other team in NHL history has won more than 10 playoff games in a row following a loss.
Will the Maple Leafs end that streak on Thursday night?
If not, the series will come back to Toronto for a Game 7 on Saturday night.
As mentioned off the top, this is the moment that Maple Leafs fans have been waiting for since last year’s playoff exit.
Take a deep breath.
Here we go.
Kings, Blues Take Series Leads With Upsets
It was looking like it would be a good night for NHL favourites after the Maple Leafs beat the Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 in their respective Game 5’s last night.
Carolina was -142 to win straight up and +168 to win by 2+ goals.
The Hurricanes are now -365 to advance to the second round.
The home team has won all five games in that series.
Meanwhile, after falling behind 1-0, Kirill Kaprizov scored twice in less than four minutes to give the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 lead.
However, St. Louis responded with four unanswered goals, including a hat trick from Vladimir Tarasenko in the third period to propel the Blues to a 5-2 win.
St. Louis was +134 on the money line.
The Blues are now -300 to win the series heading back home for Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead.
In the late game, the Edmonton Oilers rallied from down 4-2 in the third period to force overtime against the Los Angeles Kings.
However, Adrian Kempe scored just 1:12 into the extra frame to give the Kings the 5-4 win.
The Oilers entered that series at -230 to advance to the second round.
Edmonton is now +155 to win the series.
The Kings are -188 to advance up 3-2 heading back home for Game 6.
NHL favourites ended up going 2-2 straight up and 1-3 on the puck line, with the Hurricanes as the only favourite that covered the 1.5.
The over went 3-0-1 with a push in the Carolina game.
Suns, Heat Capitalize On Home Court Advantage
How big of a difference does home court advantage make in the NBA playoffs?
Based on the results so far in the second round, it seems like a pretty big deal.
The Miami Heat (-3) beat the Philadelphia 76ers 120-85 in Game 5 last night to take a 3-2 series lead.
A couple of hours later, the Phoenix Suns (-7) beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-80 to go up 3-2 in their series.
The home teams have gone a combined 10-0 straight up and against the spread in those two series.
Overall, NBA home teams are 15-3 SU and 14-4 ATS so far in the second round.
We will see if that trend continues with a pair of key Game 5’s in the NBA tonight.
The Boston Celtics are currently a 5.5-point favourite for Game 5 at home against the Milwaukee Bucks with the series tied 2-2.
The Celtics are -190 to win the series.
The Bucks are +160 to advance.
The Memphis Grizzlies are currently a four-point underdog for tonight’s game at FanDuel Sportsbook as they look to keep their season alive trailing the Golden State Warriors 3-1 in the series.
Golden State, which is the favourite to win the title at FanDuel Sportsbook at +200, is -4000 to advance.
The Grizzlies are +1500 to win three of the next four and make it out of the second round.