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Remembering a surprise Maple Leaf overtime playoff win against Bobby Orr and “The Big Bad Bruins”: Episode 20 of the Vintage Leaf Memories Podcast

If you have a fervent rooting interest, the success of “your” team matters.  It’s hard to explain to those who don’t follow sports (or much care) why it matters so much, but, well, for those of us who care, it just does.

And when you cheer for a team, there’s usually nothing that brings out our passion more than a playoff game or playoff series—especially against a real rival.  My guess is many a Maple Leaf fan first started cheering for Toronto when they were very young and watching on television or listening on the radio along with their Mom or Dad while the Leafs were in a playoff battle.

The playoffs raise the blood pressure, for sure.  And is there anything like overtime hockey?  So much hinges on a single goal—which can turn the momentum in a series in a hurry. (Look at Game 4 of the Chicago-St. Louis series right now; if St. Louis had won Game 4 in overtime, you have to believe they’d be in great shape.  Right now, the series is even and up for grabs.) My sense is most Leaf fans can rhyme off the outcome of just about every overtime playoff game the Leafs have been involved in since they started following the blue and white.  Heck, I’m probably not alone in still being upset at how the 2002 and 2004 playoffs ended for the Leafs- with overtime losses in Game 6.

That said, my focus on the latest Vintage Leaf Memories podcast is a happy overtime playoff memory.  It takes me back to the early 1970s, a game that the Leafs played against the best team in hockey at the time—the Boston Bruins of Bobby Orr (above right), Phil Esposito, Derek Sanderson and Johnny Bucyk. I don’t want to give away the ending, but to say I was startled by the outcome of the particular game that I harken back to during the program is an understatement.

The Leafs were in over their heads against the talented and tough Bruins, but they played their hearts out in that series.  And they certainly left me with a great memory.

I invite you to listen to Episode 20.


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