There is some special about Game 7 and Tuesday evening featured a pivotal match-up between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the NHL Playoffs. After an intriguing battle for the first two periods, Boston separated to the tune of a 5-1 victory and the Bruins will advance to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference Semifinals as a result.
While that may seem harmless to everyone but those rooting for the Maple Leafs, there was a wild subplot down the stretch, as those financially interested in the over/under total had quite a ride. With less than three minutes remaining, Bruins center Charlie Coyle converted an empty-net goal to essentially clinch victory with a 4-1 lead but, not to be outdone, Patrice Bergeron decided he would join him in “celebrating” the untended net.
The only kicker, though, was that the over/under was 5.5 goals and Bergeron lit the lamp with less than one second remaining on the clock.
As you can see, Bergeron seemingly went out of his way to score in this instance, with absolutely no “need” to do so. The Bruins were going to win (very) comfortably either way but, whether by out of instinct or something else, Bergeron pivoted to find the net and he did so just before the clock went to triple zeroes. He drew the ire of the Leafs, who went after him at what they thought was the final whistle, expressing their displeasure on behalf of more than a few gamblers on Tuesday night.
Weird things happen in Game 7s and that was the case on Tuesday evening… even if only a certain population happened to notice the significance of the contest’s final goal.