Wendel Clarks Bar in Oshawa gears up for the second round of NHL playoffs

Maple Leaf fans have waited 19 long years for a date in the second round of the post-season. Tuesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs go head-to-head with the Florida Panthers, and fans couldn’t be more excited.

Bars across the region are also feeding off the hype, with many seeing a bump in sales, including one owned by former Maple Leaf legend Wendel Clark.

“We’re hoping the Durham region comes out and catches the games on the TVS there,” said the Hockey Hall of Famer, “and gets some snacks and cheers our blue and white on and cheers on this series.”

Click to play video: 'Toronto Maple Leafs face off against Panthers in 2nd round of playoffs'

Toronto Maple Leafs face off against Panthers in 2nd round of playoffs

Since retiring, Clark has become the owner of Wendel Clark’s Bar in Oshawa, a spot for many fans to watch the game in the region.

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He said he’s been waiting for this moment for a long time, and couldn’t be happier for the boys in blue.

“Especially this group, that’s been here for six or seven years,” said Clark. “They finally get through the first round and into the second, and the fans have been waiting for a moment like this.”

Clark spent part of his 13 seasons with Toronto, scoring a career-high 46 goals and 76 points during the 1993-1994 season.

Read more: Wendel Clark on Maple Leafs’ chances tonight

Tuesday, staff at the bar spent most of their day getting ready for the big game.

“In preparation for tonight – we’re expecting a full restaurant – we’ve had a double beer order and double food order. We’re trying to get ready for the reservations and walk-ins this evening,” said Alyssa Fleming, director of operations for the Wendel Clark franchise.

A long playoff run for the Leafs means more income for Clark and his staff, and so far, business has been booming.

Click to play video: 'Canada calling? No Leafs tickets in Florida for you'

Canada calling? No Leafs tickets in Florida for you

“The longer the sports teams play, the more fans want to come out and be with their friends to watch their team win,” said Clark. “When you’re losing, you just want to watch the game alone in your basement.”

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As for the fans that are making it out to Clarks bar, the atmosphere has been great.

Read more: Wendel Clark’s Grill & Bar opens in Saskatoon

“They’ve been ecstatic,” said Fleming. “We’re excited to have this time with them, especially since COVID. It’s nice to have some togetherness, especially since Oshawa is a hockey town.”

Fleming says they’ve seen more Maple Leaf fans in the past week, than they have in three years.

Clark said the positive energy in the air is unbeatable, and while he isn’t making any predictions on the first game, he is expecting good things out of this round of playoffs for the blue and white.

“I think we figured out how to win and what to do,” said Clark “It’s been a big learning curve for our team to make it past the first round for the first time in a long time.”

Click to play video: 'Maple Leafs captain John Tavares says team making round 2 of Stanley Cup Playoffs was ‘a long time coming’'

Maple Leafs captain John Tavares says team making round 2 of Stanley Cup Playoffs was ‘a long time coming’

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