Leafs' Gardiner shoulders blame for Game 7 loss: 'I didn't show up'

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Jake Gardiner held himself accountable for Toronto's Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins.

The Maple Leafs defenseman saw a team-high 24:01 of ice time in the series decider, recording one assist and a minus-five rating on the night. While the perception of the latter stat has changed in recent years, being on the ice for five even-strength goals did not sit well with Gardiner, to say the least.

"Personally, I've got to be better," he said after the loss, per TSN's Mark Masters. "A lot of this game is on me and it's just not good enough, especially in a game like this. It was the most important game of the season and I didn't show up so not much I can say, really.

"There's no real explanation," he continued. "I felt fine. It just seemed like everything I was doing ended up in the back of the net and ... yeah."

Gardiner was left to defend Boston's Jake DeBrusk and was burned on the eventual game-winning goal, and broke the play down as such:

"It's going to be a tough one to swallow," he concluded. "I let a lot of people down. Hopefully I can come back better from it. It's too bad."

For the series, Gardiner recorded two assists, finishing with a minus-six rating and 13 shots on goal.

Leafs' Gardiner shoulders blame for Game 7 loss: 'I didn't show up'
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