Leafs Postgame: Pump Fake

It all seemed magical as the seconds ticked away. Tank be damned, you want the Toronto Maple Leafs to play their hearts out, and occasionally get rewarded for it. Tonight, it looked like they would, and that they were deserving of the pity points. The tank gods had a different opinion, though, as they brought they brought the game to a nuclear end and created a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers.

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The Leafs looked good again tonight. They really did. Right from the get-go, they fired from all cylinders. Five minutes in, it turned into a shocking lead:

The goal gave Viktor Loov his first NHL point just three minutes into his NHL career, and gave the Leafs a lead that lasted through the entire period. It wasn’t one that they’d hold onto forever, though, as Derick Brassard took advantage of a Nick Spaling double minor in the early stages of the second, and Mats Zuccarello snuck under a few Leafs a few minutes after that to bang home a go-ahead rebound for the opposition.

The Leafs kept pressing, as they always do, and with two minutes left in the third period, Colin Greening made the most of his redemption opportunity to pot his first of the season. Surely, the game was soon to head to overtime, but less than a minute later, JT Miller stripped Morgan Rielly of the puck in front of the Leafs net, eventually leading to Derek Stepan scoring the game winner. Brassard scored his second of the night as a game-capping empty netter in the dying seconds.

Why The Leafs Lost

This might be the single worst play of Morgan Rielly’s career. The Leafs were surely headed to overtime after outplaying a quality team by a significant margin, and he blew it with this giveaway.

This is why he’s the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s a clutch tanker.

Blue Warrior

I don’t think there’s a more “clutch” person alive right now than The Leafs Nation’s managing editor, Justin Fisher. Our handsome overlord look a chance on the Rangers winning by two, looked stupid for most of the game, and got a miracle pair handed to him in the last seconds.

I think he owes the team a round. That round will be tap water, of course, as he is not a high stakes gambler, but he’s not a losing one either.

See You Next Time

With that mess behind them, the Leafs have another opportunity to lose on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop is at 7 PM, just a few hours after the Toronto Marlies play on the same Air Canada Centre ice! The kids are probably more likely to win, I’d bet.

  • jimithy

    Kadri has shown for once and for all that he can check and he can skate backwards and turn left and right and he has learned not to lie down on the ice all the time, but he can’t score. His wrist shot is a joke as well as his slap shot. It is unbelievable that this is true. He’s a good fourth line centre. Rielly has to go as well. And Gardiner too.

  • Gary Empey

    i was at that game last night… the collective “UGH!” “typical leafs” and “shocked laughter” in the crowd was hilarious and accurate. it was truly a leafs moment watching them give us all hope when they tied the game to giving up the game winner seconds after… good thing it was a regulation loss!