Latest posts by Omar White (see all)
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If I were to tell you that the Leafs would have a series lead against the Washington Capitals, you’d say I was crazy. Musical legend George Michael said it best, “Cause I gotta have faith”. LEAFS VICTORY! 4-3 against the Washington Capitals in overtime. There’s a small part of me (probably of you as well) that is starting to get physically and mentally tired with all these overtimes. You’re sitting on the edge of your chair with your hands over your mouth hoping and praying the Leafs don’t make a mistake. However, if all these OTs continue to result in wins, then it’s a fair trade-off. The Leafs are now up 2-1 in the series. It isn’t wise to start celebrating the end of Washington yet. There are still some games left however, the Leafs only need two more to advance. Take that Mike Modano.
The story behind these three games hasn’t revolved much around the Matthews line. William Nylander had a few good looks in Game Two, but it was mostly the other lines that were contributing offensively. Game Three was a different story. First home playoff game in four years, the crowd was buzzing, yeah that would be a good time to get it going. The Leafs were originally down 2-0 in the first period, until some magic from Auston Matthews got them in it. Matthews receives the pass from Morgan Rielly and charges into the Capitals zone. He takes a shot that goes off John Carlson’s stick and Nate Schmidt’s face. Matthews stays with it and taps the puck in the net to get the Leafs on the board. Nylander’s game tying goal was off another strong Hyman forecheck. The turnover Hyman creates allows Matthews to get the puck and feed Nylander in the slot. One shot is stopped, but the other goes in and it’s a tie game.
The 5 on 3 penalty kill in the first period was the TSN turning point. It’s the Leafs are down by two goals at this point, one more goal and it’s over. Martin Marincin played the entire two minutes of that penalty kill. Babcock is always quick to compliment Marincin on his size and long hockey stick. During that entire kill Marincin was preventing the Capitals from setting up their patented one timer. So cudos to Marty, he didn’t drive us nuts for once.
Although the ending of the game was great, the beginning wasn’t really good. Zaitsev’s first game back started off rough with a dash two next to his name. On the first 4 on 4, the Caps are entering the zone, and some miscommunication between Zaitsev and JVR led to an open Niklas Backstrom in front.
There are times where we roll our eyes at Coach’s Corner, but there was something interesting that he brought up. Kuznetsov’s second period goal to make it 3-1 was followed by his “signature” bird celebration. Cherry always tells the young kids not to hot dog your opponents. It would’ve been nice for Washington if Kuznetsov was able to get that goal later instead of hitting it off the crossbar. Then the eventual game winner was from a power play goal in overtime. Why power play? Because Lars Eller high sticked Hyman at the end of the third. Coincidently, he also thought it was cool to shove Marner in the face at the beginning of the game. Hockey Karma is a powerful thing, don’t mess with it.
Despite the fact that the Matthews line was buzzing, Nazem Kadri had his best game of the series by far. The Leafs started out slow, but Kadri triggered the energy in the ACC. He completley layed out Brooks Orpik…twice! Once in the Washington zone and again in the neutral zone before the end of his shift. Although Matthews got the eventual goal, Kadri deserved an assist on it by spirit. He got on the scoreboard two more times in the best ways.
The Leafs have pressure in the third period, and the former first round pick gets the puck at the point and sends it on net. Give Connor Brown credit for tying up Orpik in front because the puck went off his shin and in. Kadri’s first playoff goal of the series cut that tie in half. He wasn’t done there though. Fast forward to overtime. Marner is able to lift Niskanen’s stick down low allowing Bozak to get the puck. It’s a yo-yo along the umbrella where the puck ends up on Kadri’s stick. He shoots and it is tipped by Bozak for the OT winner. It’s a team effort, but the intensity of the game began and ended with Nazem Kadri
Tweets of the Game
— Arushana Sunderaeson (@ArushanaS) April 17, 2017
— RCM. (@idontparty) April 17, 2017
This is just for me. Had to include this:
— Omega's Sky 💀 🤘 (@WWEAnarchy) April 17, 2017