Maple Leafs 2 v. Capitals 3 (SO): Maple Leafs Eliminated

Corsi and Fenwick | EV Face Offs | H2H Time On Ice

Game Summary | Event Summary | Japers Rink Recap

Those three words will give the majority of hockey fans the kind of thrill that they cannot find in their own fandom. After 80 games, the playoff dream is official over. It became official once Thomas Vanek potted an empty net goal to complete their 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning but the Leafs and Capitals continued to play their game nonetheless until Washington emerged victorious in the shootout. It was a moment that was a long time coming for the Maple Leafs. They had put it off as much as possible even as veterans like Francois Beauchemin and Tomas Kaberle moved on and human chemistry Colby Armstrong was lost for the year to injuries. The single biggest reason? A groin injury to Jean-Sebastien Giguere that opened the door for James Reimer: 

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - James Reimer 34 1915 20 8 81 2.54 1038 957 .922 3

On a night when the Leafs were grossly outshot he was once again the hero. Whether he is the white knight that we've yearned for or simply the player that allowed Leafs fans to recognize all of the good that exists on the team. In particular, there was one save that drew a standing ovation from the crowd and a bit of understanding from Bruce Arthur:

That was the Leafs this season, in a nutshell. Down and out, then reaching, reaching, reaching. No, they didn’t grasp the ledge, but moments like that mean something. Players like Reimer mean something. It wasn’t enough this season, no, and there’s no guarantee it will mean enough next season, either.

It's not a passionate defence of Leafs fans but it's miles ahead of most of his colleagues. Ultimately, there are no guarantees for next year. Mikhail Grabovski could regress (not likely), Clarke MacArthur could return to his pre-Leafs form (please no), and James Reimer may be more Jim Carey than Felix Potvin. But for the past three months they've given us more than just hope but hope that even the media and opposition fans have to acknowledge. And that's something.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker