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PRAYING FOR THE SEVENTH HEAVEN: Brilliant buds ready for Leafs take off

Fans are confident the team can end the 18-year playoff curse

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Leaf fans are excited for the team’s last chance – Saturday night – to snap an 18-year streak of not getting past the first round of the playoffs.

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“Huge anxiety. I’ll watch, but anything can happen,” said Michael White, taking a break from the bench playing brilliant hockey with his buddies on Friday afternoon.

“I’m a bit speechless,” he said of Thursday’s dramatic loss with just about two minutes left in the first overtime period.

“They came back. But they have to lower the pedal and go all the way.

PRAYING FOR THE SEVENTH HEAVEN: Brilliant buds ready for Leafs take off
Michael White plays shinny at Moss Park Arena on Friday, May 13, 2022. Photo by Veronique Henri /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

“I thought they were amazing,” said Richard Pell, who saw big signs in the way the Leafs played.

“It was really important because they showed they could come back from that two-nil deficit. The second half was brilliant. If they hadn’t made those mistakes being in the box, they would have won. this game.”

It was a match that kept the city in suspense.

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Pell and his friends – who are skating at Moss Park Arena – are confident of this highly anticipated elimination match.

“It’s do or die. It’s Game 7, so they have to bring it. And the fans have to bring it – which they will,” Pell said.

“They have to play the most perfect hockey. They can beat these guys. They just have to be really flawless. They must be machines that never make mistakes.

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Those mistakes and 18 years of playoff disappointment will be deep in some people’s minds as the Leafs attempt to eclipse the two-time Stanley Cup champions.

“I think the Leafs are the best five-on-five team. Costly mistakes ended in goals. That was the difference,” said Andrew Boniwell, who admitted to having a soft spot for Chicago.

“I cheer for the Leafs because I have so many friends who are Leafs fans,” he said. “I feel for them if they don’t win.”

Those cheers are sure to be deafening inside Scotiabank Arena and outside Maple Leaf Square on Saturday night.

Support is seen as a source of adrenaline that could make the difference.

A clear trend in this series: no team has won two games in a row.

“They are ripe to bring down Tampa. I think it will happen,” said Boniwell, who added his prediction for Saturday’s battle.

“Not many penalties. A lot of five against five. I think the Leafs win by two.