On Saturday, Sportsnet aired Game 2 of the 2002 second-round playoff series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators (a 3-2 triple-overtime Leafs victory on a Gary Roberts goal) in place of the Hockey Night in Canada regular-season finale between the Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. With the likelihood that the season will not resume until this summer, there will undoubtedly be more classic games being broadcast.
Leafs fans in the United States are unfortunately getting a regular diet of misery when it comes to classic games on NHL Network or NBCSN. In the last three weeks, Game 7 of the Bruins - Leafs 2013 first-round series has been on three times and Game 7 of the LA Kings - Leafs 1993 Western Conference Final has been on once.
Leafs Nation Network shows the Game 7 wins over Detroit and St. Louis in 1993 with regularity, but over the next few months it would be nice to see the following games on TV to put a smile on the faces of Blue and White fans:
Game 7 - Leafs vs. New York Islanders - 2002
This was a great and rough-and-tumble series where the home team won every game, and Toronto won the series with players like Darcy Tucker, Shayne Corson, Travis Green, Alyn McCauley, and Alexander Mogilny rose to the occasion in the absence of Mats Sundin.
Game 6 - Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks - 1994
Toronto trailed the upstart Sharks 3-2 in the series coming back to Maple Leaf Gardens for Games 6 and 7. The Leafs nearly lost in overtime when Johan Garpenlov hit the crossbar behind Felix Potvin, but forced Game 7 with Mike Gartner’s overtime goal.
Game 6 - Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 1999
Leafs move on to the Conference Final for the first time in five years on Garry Valk’s overtime goal in Game 6. My favorite memory of this is Danny Markov saluting Jaromir Jagr after the victory.
Game 7 - Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators - 2004
A playoff meltdown by Senators goalie Patrick Lalime, allowing three first period goals in a 4-1 Leafs victory. Unfortunately, this series 16 years ago is the last that Toronto has won.
Game 7 - Leafs vs. New York Islanders - 1978
Lanny McDonald’s overtime winner advances the Leafs to the Semi-Final and the furthest in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since winning in 1967.
Which ones do you want to see???? Leave a note in the comments and I will list some of those in a future column!!
Which Classic Leafs game would you love to watch right now?!!
*******If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising your business in the Greater Toronto / Southern Ontario area on this column, please send a message for more information by clicking on the “Contact” button at the top of the page.*******