For the second year in a row, the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the postseason in a Game 7 loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins, who will be moving on to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 2.
And for the second year in a row, Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner once again looked awful in the loss.
On the Bruins' second goal of the do or die game, Gardiner inexplicably played the puck off the boards behind Frederik Andersen's net to no one in particular. It was quickly scooped up by Marcus Johansson who gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Gardiner was an ugly minus-5 in last spring's Game 7 loss to Boston, and this year, ended with a -3 in tonight's Game 7.
Last year, he faced media and fell on his sword, taking more than his share of the blame in an emotional exchange with reporters.
This time around, Gardiner refused to meet with media members after his team's loss.
The veteran defenseman, who missed a chunk of the second half of the season with a back injury, wasn't completely healthy at the start of the playoffs and might have suffered all series long.
However, he is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and could have just played his last game as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
His teammate Morgan Rielly was quick to once again defend Gardiner.
"Nobody cares what anyone says. He’s a f**king really good player. We want him back next year so that’s that."
We will see if the Leafs agree with Rielly...