Latest posts by Omar White (see all)
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- Go Time for the Toronto Marlies! - May 15, 2017
- Today in the NHL 58 – Ducks Hunting and Worlds Recap - May 15, 2017
They did it! Wait before I start, LEAFS VICTORY! 5-3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. We all knew that something special was starting when MLSE hired Brendan Shanahan. Mike Babcock said there was going to be pain. However, for the true Leafs fan that has sat through everything, pain has been at the ACC for the past 13 years. Babcock’s first year with Toronto was painful, but it led to the first Leafs victories in years: Auston Matthews. Save for a few, most had the Leafs as a bottom feeder or in the bubble. The Leafs proved everyone wrong, they’re in the playoffs. Toronto is currently third in the Atlantic because Boston is finished with their regulation games. If we want to face Ottawa first round, we’ll need at least a point Sunday. But let’s not talk about that just yet, let’s focus on the night Toronto stood still.
The Leafs are probably making the playoffs this year and if they're smart, are going to attempt to win the cup next year. Save this tweet.
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) October 16, 2016
There was so much pressure behind this game. Toronto had opportunities Tuesday and Thursday to clinch but came out with one of their poorest performances. Twitter was going to explode as fans were waiting for puck drop. Personally, I could say this was a game between blogs as well: White’s Corner vs Pens Blog for a chance at the playoffs (check them out they have great content). Unfortunately, the first goal of the game was by a Pittsburgh Penguin…it was Phil Kessel. The play was something that we as Leafs fans were used to seeing in his 6 years with the team. Kessel literally had about 3 seconds after the Matthews line couldn’t clear the puck and ripped it from the circles. It’s 1-0 Pittsburgh.
Phil Kessel got his 69th point of the year against Toronto pic.twitter.com/mEnIZNcVwN
— Pens.Hockey (@PensHockeyBlog) April 9, 2017
Then the worst thing that could happen to the Leafs happened…well happened again. Andersen comes out to the front of his crease aggressively, and is clipped in the head by the hip of Tom Sestito. Whether it was on purpose or an attempt to gain position doesn’t matter, because Andersen had to leave the game. Another strike of negativity for Leafs fans. It doesn’t get any better after Gardnier scores on himself… After completely missing an open net, Guentzel throws the puck on net which goes off Gardnier’s skate and in. The ACC is quiet, Twitter is in uproar. It feels like it’s going to be known as, “The Choke Job”, but the grass was greener on the other side.
Just going to pack in everything, this whole team deserves the Beauty and the Disgusting. Despite everything detailed above, even though they fell early, lost their #1 goalie, and scored on themselves, they pulled through. I had a previous streak of not swearing on Twitter, that streaks is over. Let’s go through each goal via the lovely call of Joe Bowen.
Here’s Polak, playing it to the line and in. Carried in now by Van Riemsdyk, SCORES!!!
Polak passes the puck to Bozak standing at the blue-line. It’s tipped, deflected, whatever, but the puck is send up into the air. JVR tips the puck with one hand into the Pens zone and scores over the glove of Fleury to tie the game. Nearly 30 seconds after his former line mate got Pittsburgh the lead.
Gardnier looks for a man walking the line. Dishes back for Nylander. Nylander with a pass in front, they SCORE! TYLER BOZAK!
Bozak was a little sneaky fox for that Leafs power play. Just skating by the left of Fleury while everyone was paying attention to Nylander. What a beautiful pass by the 20-year-old, and all Bozak has to do is tap it home for his 18th of the season.
Martin trying to control the puck in his legs. Got it freed up for Matthews, off the bench. Matthews for Hunwick, A PASS IN FRONT! THEY SCORE! THEY SCORE! ITS KAPANEN, THE FORMER PENGUIN HAS TIED THE GAME!
This was the beginning of when I deem this game, reverse Leafy. Matthews with a backhand pass to Hunwick with I would have to say was one of Hunwick’s greatest if not the greatest pass he’s made all season. No look, tape-to-tape. Kapanen scored the game winner for Team Finland last year at the World Jrs and had an energetic celebration. Watch the one for this goal and it’s pretty similar. The player that we got in return for the Kessel goal, scores the game tying goal! Reverse Leafiness Activated.
Working there is Hunwick with a shot, and that’s off the mark wide. Another shot, THEY SCORE! A WRIST SHOT BY JAKE GARDNIER, DEFLECTED BY CONNOR BROWN! Connor Brown, the little leprechaun has found a pot of gold.
Joe Bowen is such a beauty. If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have an idea how huge it is for me to see Connor Brown score the eventual game winner. Gardnier redeems himself after the own goal earlier on. Brown tips his shot that goes right past Fleury for his 20th goal of the season. The celebration between him and Kadri was symbolic of how all Leafs fans were feeling.
Down into the corner, Crosby in front! OH WHAT A SAVE! HOLY MACKINAW! HOLY MCELHINNEY!
That was the game because at this point it was 4-3. McElhinney, coming in for Andersen, robs Sidney Crosby blind. Not many can do that, he does have 44 goals for a reason.
Another pass in front, blocked. Leafs get it again. Matthews to centre. AND IN THE NET HE SCORES! HOLY MACKINAW THEY’RE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!
Crosby is denied again, by a block from Polak…and Connor Sheary (unintentional). Matthews gets it out and scores his 40th via the empty net.
With Nylander’s assist on the Bozak goal was his 26th power play point. This tally breaks the rookie record set by Dan Daoust in 1983. Brown’s goal makes him the 5th player on the Leafs to have at least 20 goals. And no record-breaking would be complete without Auston Matthews. The number one overall pick is the 4th rookie in NHL history to score 40 goals. Most important to Leafs fans, Matthews is the first Leaf to score 40 goals since Mats Sundin in 2002. This is the beginning of the future. It’ll be nice to see the Leafs finally playing games late into April. The funny thing is, aren’t we meant to be in year 2?