Toronto Maple Leafs Game 7 history
(Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire)

The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the NHL’s most storied franchises, have a long and tumultuous history when it comes to Game 7s. These high-stakes, winner-take-all matches have been the source of both triumph and heartbreak for the team and its passionate fanbase.

Here’s a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs Game 7 history:

Maple Leafs Game 7 Record

Throughout their history, the Maple Leafs have played in 26 Game 7s, compiling a record of 12 wins and 14 losses. While this may seem like a relatively even split, the team’s recent history in these decisive games has been less than stellar.

Here’s a table of the Maple Leafs’ Game 7 appearances since 2000:

Date Opponent Result
5/14/2022 vs Tampa Bay L 1-2
5/31/2021 vs Montreal L 1-3
4/23/2019 @ Boston L 1-5
4/25/2018 @ Boston L 4-7
5/13/2013 @ Boston L 4-5 OT
4/20/2004 vs Ottawa W 4-1
4/22/2003 @ Philadelphia L 1-6
5/14/2002 vs Ottawa W 3-0
4/30/2002 vs NY Islanders W 4-2
5/9/2001 @ New Jersey L 1-5

As the table shows, the Leafs have struggled in recent Game 7s, losing their last five dating back to 2013.

Leafs Game 7s vs Bruins

The Maple Leafs have a particularly painful history when it comes to Game 7s against the Boston Bruins. The two Original Six rivals have met in three Game 7s since 2013, with the Bruins winning all three:

  • 2013: Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 4 (OT)
  • 2018: Bruins 7, Maple Leafs 4
  • 2019: Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 1

The most infamous of these losses came in 2013 when the Leafs held a 4-1 lead in the third period before the Bruins staged a stunning comeback, tying the game in the final minute of regulation and winning it in overtime.

Notable Leafs Game 7 Player Performances

Despite the team’s recent struggles, there have been some standout individual performances by Maple Leafs players in Game 7s:

  • Morgan Rielly scored the Leafs’ lone goal in their most recent Game 7, a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2022.
  • Auston Matthews, the team’s star center, has been limited by injury in recent Game 7s but has a goal and an assist in four career Game 7 appearances.
  • Joseph Woll, a rookie goaltender, made 22 saves in the Leafs’ Game 6 win over the Bruins in 2024, forcing a Game 7. He became the first goaltender in NHL history to have each of his first four career playoff starts come in potential elimination games.

The Psychological Impact of Game 7s on the Leafs and Their Fans

The Leafs’ history of heartbreaking Game 7 losses has taken a toll on both the team and its dedicated fanbase. The pressure to perform in these high-stakes situations has seemingly weighed heavily on the players, leading to a series of disappointing collapses and early playoff exits.

For fans, each Game 7 loss has been a painful reminder of the franchise’s long Stanley Cup drought, which dates back to 1967. The team’s inability to come through in clutch moments has led to a sense of pessimism and even fatalism among some supporters, who have come to expect the worst in these decisive games.

As former Leafs player and current broadcaster Darren Pang put it after the team’s Game 7 loss to the Bruins in 2018: “The pressure is immense. It’s not just the players feeling it, it’s the entire city. The weight of the past failures really seems to creep into their minds in these big moments.”

As the Maple Leafs prepare for another Game 7 showdown with the Bruins, they’ll look to lean on their star players and rising young talents to change the narrative surrounding the team’s recent history in these high-pressure situations.

A win would not only propel them to the second round but could also serve as a turning point for a franchise looking to end a decades-long Stanley Cup drought.