Maple Leafs James Reimer was named the first star in Sunday's 2-1 win at home that forced a Game 7 back in Boston on Monday night.. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)
TORONTO - In the greatest moment of James Reimer’s young career, he skated a circle on the Air Canada Centre ice with his right arm and his goalie stick in the air, the perpetual smile on his reddened face, with an ovation ringing in his ears.
He didn’t want to leave.
It felt that special. It was that memorable. It was a moment of a sporting lifetime. Until the next one. Which may happen Monday night.
This playoff series of twists and turns and subplots will reach conclusion at the TD Garden tonight with a red-hot and confident Reimer in goal and the upstart and now upset-minded Maple Leafs on the ice.
Playing in the game that seemed so unlikely two weeks ago, so impossible as the Leafs crept to the end of the regular season, almost ridiculous after the Leafs beat themselves and were beaten up by the Bruins in the first game of this best of seven series.
But none of that matters now. It is one game winner take all. The Leafs carrying all the momentum. The Bruins looking tired and tense. A second-straight 2-1 win was made possible because of exceptional goaltending by Reimer and by the overall resilience of a hockey club that has found its way at the most important of times.