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
Have you ever heard the Harry Potter conspiracy theory? It basically goes as this. What if at the end of the series, Harry woke up and all seven books were just a dream. What if this entire season was just a dream and we were to wake up at the draft? Sorry to put that thought in your head. It’s a Leaf victory! 3-2 against the Florida Panthers. Every game this team gets Leafs nation more and more excited. With 87 points, this is the Leafs best season in 10 years. Records and milestones people, that’s been the Leafs mantra. Toronto still sits third in the Atlantic Division, and other teams are still climbing. However, the team can only control their fate. Let’s get as many points as possible before that final home stretch.
Even though McElhinney has given the Leafs quality starts on the second half of back-to-backs, Leafs fans were unsure if he could hold the crease while Andersen was out. McElhinney blew away all that negativity with his performance tonight. He didn’t see much in the first period as the Leafs held the Panthers to only 3 shots, but he turned it up in the second. Jokinen sends a centering pass to Barkov who tips the puck in front of the net, by McElhinney stops that. Then, Smith grabs the rebound and tries to send the puck in on the side but is stopped by the back-up’s stick. Solid start for Curtis, without his play in the later half of the game, the result could’ve been different.
Leo Komorov, Zach Hyman, and Kasperi Kapanen had solid games as well. By a two-on-one pass from Connor Brown, Uncle Leo scored his 13th goal of the season. Rookies aren’t the only ones that can reach milestones as that goal was his 100th career point. Zach Hyman scored a brilliant shorthanded goal that ended up being the game winner in the third period. Kapanen had a solid outing for his season debut playing over 11 minutes. He had an insane burst of speed that led to a scoring chance, and a huge block on the PK.
The Leafs dominated the first period ending it with a lead. However, it looks like the team got a little too comfortable going into the second period allowing the Panthers to get some chances. Four and a half minutes left in the period and the play is in the Leafs zone. Florida wins the face-off and Demers has the puck along the blue line. Reilly Smith loses Matthews and drives towards the net tipping the Demers pass in to make it 2-1. That was okay, not every game is going to end in a shutout.
Even though he’s on another team, Reimer will always be a part of Leafs nation. Komorov backhands the puck deep into the Panthers zone, while Boyle and Jason Demers go after it. While turning by the net, Boyle clips Reimer in the head who hits the ice instantly. Reimer has had history with concussions in his time with Toronto, so it’s unfortunate to see that happen. Luckily he was able to skate off on his own but he didn’t return to the game.
There were way to many penalties in this game as well at 12 where six of them belonged to Toronto. The only one the Panthers capatilized on came in the last minute of the game from Jagr. It could’ve been seven if the refs completely greased us and called that “high stick” on Polak, which was actually a puck that hit Huberdeau. Also, just a sidenote to Alex Petrovic, you hit Mitch Marner. Don’t do that.
In the beginning of the season, people all over the hockey verse were making their projections on what a good season for Auston Matthews would be. Some said 20 goals and 40 points, others said 20 goals and 50 points. Some just wanted Matthews to be in the Calder conversation. Well, Matthews has completely destroyed any and all expectations we had for the first overall pick. Auston Matthews scored the first goal of the game for the 14th time this season. And it wasn’t just any goal, it was his team leading 35th goal. That’s right, Auston Matthews has broken the record for most goals by a rookie surpassing Wendel Clark.
In the Panthers’ zone, Nylander sends the puck behind the net to Hyman who goes for a wrap around. Whether it was on purpose or not, the wrap around is actually a pass that goes to Matthews. Shoots…Scores! 35 goals! Nylander’s point streak also continues to 12 games as he assists on this one. To Leafs fans who have watched the team do bonehead things ever since the lockout. To the Leafs fans who have seen GMs trade picks and prospects for bandaids, this one was for us. Auston Matthews is a Toronto Maple Leaf, and he will be for a long time.
Tweets of the Game
— Oaks (@ScotianOaks) March 29, 2017
— DVai (@DannyVai41) March 29, 2017