Maple Leafs 3 v. Canadiens 2 (SO): First Round Exit!

Seconds after the Toronto Maple Leafs wrapped up their 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens the standing room section in 319 exploded in song. Specifically, the frequently deployed and often backfiring "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole". The Habs fans beside us were not too impressed and one even tried yelling at us but we couldn't hear her over our awesomeness. We also saw a Montreal fan that had made a bet that he was apparently unwilling to honour until he was bombarded with chants of "Honour The Bet!" Once he had put the sweater on, a brand new Phaneuf, he made the obligatory golfing joke. I don't know if he said anything else because by then everyone was chanting "First Round Exit (clap clap clapclapclap). On our way out of the building, cowing all Habs fans in our path, I turned to SkinnyFish and asked if he knew what the one bright side of the Habs making the playoffs was. Without missing a beat, he replied "Writing the eulogy." Can't wait.

All in all, it was a great night of partying and hockey. A good crowd made it out to the Loose Moose to meet up with SkinnyFish, Chemmy, and I beforehand including Down Goes Brown and his owner, Jared, Leafer1984, Fergus30, Clrkaitken, Bkblades, Archimedies, Blindfolded Tank Driver, Kessticle, The General and Caps fans Ovechwin and Beta. Gus, Fabs, and Garrett from Maple Leafs Hot Stove stopped by after the game along with Shield and Hungry Leafs Fan. I likely missed people but I blame the copious amount of beer imbibed throughout the night so my apologies. Thanks to everyone that came out for a great time and hopefully the next one will continue the tradition of being bigger and better!

The game itself was decent enough. The Leafs were generally the better team at even strength and somehow that manifested itself into six powerplays for the Montreal Canadiens to one for the buds. The Habs don't usually see reffing that beneficial outside of the Bell Centre but thankfully with the return of Fredrik "Sjobacca" Sjostrom to the lineup the PK managed to kill five of six shorthanded situations. The Leafs powerplay may have only gotten one chance but they made it count as Tyler Bozak potted a rebound after Nikolai Kulemin slammed a rebound off of the post. The Habs responded late in the period with a very weark goal. Phil Kessel gave the Leafs a lead that they would ultimately concede to Brian Gionta's second on a spectacular wrist shot which saw the puck leave his stick almost as soon as it arrived.

The overtime was probably the best part of the game as the game flowed back and forth. There were some close calls but nothing was decided. In the shootout, Phil Kessel hit the crossbar, Nikolai Kulemin used his only move, and John Mitchell potted his third straight game-deciding goal (not GWG because his last shootout goal ended the game but wasn't the actual winner). The other bright spot was that Jonas Gustavsson, after looking pretty terrible in the gimmicky ending he looked much more composed in stopping two Habs shooters.

Corsi and Fenwick | Head-to-Head TOI | EV Face-Offs | Shift Charts
Game Summary
| Event Summary Habs Eyes On The Prize Recap 

 

A few more observations:

  • Phaneuf keeps chewing up minutes. He played over 28 last night in all situations and was an anchor on the penalty kill.
  • Tyler Bozak had another strong night in the face-off circle. He went 15 for 20.
  • One more time: 6 powerplays to 1 is pretty ridiculous.
  • The Leafs' top line got more more defensive zone face-offs last night. They were the one full line to have more in the defensive zone than the offensive one.
  • Leafs in general had more offensive zone face-offs than defensive.
  • Francois Beauchemin, Mikhail Grabovski, and Rickard "Goggles" Wallin lead the Leafs in Corsi
  • Dominic Moore got pummelled but that makes sense because he sucks - /Chemmy'd

For some levity, read the Four Habs Fans' game thread where moeman pens a lovely tune and then loses the plot or their hilarious recap where being first round cannon fodder is apparently a mark of success for the Canadiens. Sad times. Wait, no, funny times.

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