Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

TLN Top Ten Plays: Connor Brown

Yes, I know the title of this article says Top-10 plays. However, the #content that I’ll be providing you guys isn’t going to be just goals and assists, and for good reason.

The Brown Cow’s first full year in The Show was memorable, to say the least. Twenty goals, 36 points, and one hell of a goal celebration. Enjoy as we appreciate Connor Brown’s eventful season that was.

10. Making twitter freak out because he didn’t have a contract

Twitter is a magical place filled with overreaction and unreasonableness. This was on full display in the weeks leading to up Connor Brown (inevitably) signing a 3 year, $6.3 million contract extension.

This sort of thing happens every summer with a handful of different players. Remember when Nazem Kadri signed in mid-September a few years ago? Hell, David freakin’ Pastrnak doesn’t have a contract yet!

Regardless, watching people lose their minds over something that was so obviously going to get completed was definitely entertaining.

9. Assist on Matthews goal, game 4 vs. Washington (Apr. 19)

Not that this is a great play by Brown or anything, but his assist on this goal was his first (and only) career postseason point. Also, had the Leafs not committed one of the biggest brain farts of the season on Washington’s 5th goal, Toronto would have tied the game. Remember, Bozak scored Toronto’s 4th goal in the dying seconds with the net empty. Who knows what could have happened.

8.  Two points against Nashville in heat of playoff race (Mar. 30)

Neither of Brown’s assist on Matthews’ 36th goal of the season nor his empty net goal to seal the win will make his season highlight reel, but they should. This was a game Toronto won, against the Stanley Cup runner-ups, in the thick of a playoff race. Also, consider that Tampa Bay, Boston, and Carolina all won on this night as well, making a Leafs win all the more important.

Sidenote: The fact that Joe Bowen refers to Brown as a “ginger-haired leprechaun from Toronto,” on this call kills me. 

7. Assist on Matthews goal in slump-breaking game vs. New Jersey (Nov. 23)

Remember when Auston Matthews was ‘slumping’ early on in the season? Remember how worked up we all got? Well, Connor Brown played a big role in helping Matthews snap the slump and get back on track.

Yeah, this was Matthews’ second goal of the game and not the slump-buster per se, but his two-goal game set the 40-goal rookie back on track, with Brown playing a big part.

6. Career-high four point game vs. Florida (Nov. 17)

Not only did Brown score a career-high 4 points in this game, but he also scored arguably his nicest goal of the season (with a little thanks to our old pal, James Reimer).

Fun fact: Brown’s 9 career points against the Panthers are the most he has against any team in his young career.

5. Big Centennial Classic performance (Jan. 1)

Connor Brown was a central piece in one of the most memorable games of the season. Not only did he score this goal:

But he also assisted on this goal, which has undoubtedly gone down as one of the most memorable from the 2016-2017 season:

Brown added another assist earlier in the game, notching three points in a game he’ll remember for a long, long time.

4. Being the inspiration behind the best quote from this year’s Road to the Winter/Centennial Classic

Just Because Ilya Bryzgalov killed 24/7 doesn’t mean that the yearly behind-the-scenes series, whatever the name may be, doesn’t provide any hilarious moments. Take this outstanding Mike Babcock quote, for example.

I honestly can’t decide which part of this clip I like more. Is the “Brown Cow” nickname? Is it the “holy f*** Brownie,” right after? Either way, this was easily the best part of this year’s series.

3. Goal off of lost face-off vs. Ottawa (Jan. 14)

Auston Matthews did a lot of stupidly-amazing things this season, with this being one of them. Connor Brown was just lucky enough to be on the receiving end of this piece of brilliance from Papi.

That’s right – Matthews lost the draw on purpose, got to the spot he wanted, and found Brown in front, just like they drew it up. Don’t think the whole thing was planned? Take it up with Mr. Matthews.

“We kind of planned it, said Matthews,” per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. “I said I was going forward so we found a really good spot. I kind of just knew where he was going to be.”

Don’t you dare disrespect Papi again.

2. Playoff-clinching goal vs. Pittsburgh (Apr. 8)

We watch sports for moments like this.

After years of suffering through losing seasons, who sends the Leafs to their first playoff appearance in an 82-game season since 2003-2004? The guy who cheered for them his whole life, of course.

While there were definitely a number of really nice and very memorable goals scored this past season, this has to top the list. Connor Brown’s 20th of the season is arguably the Leafs’ most important regular season moment in well over a decade, and it couldn’t have come from a more deserving player.

1. Celebration after playoff-clinching goal (Apr. 8)

Honestly, this may have been my favorite moment from the season, period. All of us grew up wanting to play hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Connor Brown is no different. The guy is quite literally living his dream, which is why he has quickly become a fan favorite in such a short amount of time. You can see it night in, night out how much he absolutely loves playing for the Leafs.

Really, when you think about it, he’s a fan, just like the rest of us. The difference is that he was blessed with hockey-ing ability while the rest of us weren’t. Watching Brown play this season was like watching yourself play, you know, if you could. It was really, really cool.

Anyways, enjoy Connor Brown going absolutely mental after he scores one of the biggest goals of his career.

Next up, Uncle Leo.

Previously in the series:

Top Ten Matt Hunwick Plays

Top Ten Morgan Rielly Plays

Top Ten Zach Hyman Plays 

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