This was a game so nice I had to watch it twice. Actually, I fell asleep the first time and woke up to a ringing phone and one Leaf fan full of belief. Watching it the second time definitely made it a lot easier on the old ticker than it would have been the first time through. Sadly, it also robbed me of the chance to experience the excitement and emotion that coursed through MF37 or anyone of the raucous fans that filled the ACC and willed their team to victory.
Norte prepped the players by giving them the lay of the land and the players came out ready to go. They were all over the Flyers from start to finish but it looked like the Leafs were going to fall victim to their same mistakes. First Stralman let his man go, then the powerplay wasn't clicking, then a fluke goal against late in the second was followed up by a Jason Blake Sunday skate which put the Leafs down 3 just over a minute into the third.
After expending so much effort and seeing such terrible results it would have been easy for the Leafs to fold up their tent and return to their stable of excuses before making the trip to the City of Brotherly Love to lay their season to rest. But lo came the King of Kings, Odin reborn, Mats Sundin who will not let the Leafs' dream die. He scored a carbon copy of his goal from Saturday night to get the ball rolling. I actually woke up just after the goal, saw the score, and was unable to prevent the re-doze-off. Mats, however, wasn't going to sleep until the job was done. He won a face off to set up Kubina's first goal of the game before instructing Jeremy Williams to rifle a laser into the top corner ("Go blocker kid"). Presumably, Mats also instructed Kubina to get the OT winner.
So the Leafs live to fight another day. It wasn't the ideal outcome but damn if it wasn't entertaining. I wonder if the Leafs will have anything left in the tank or if they can put up at least 55 shots on Philadelphia for a third straight time. Maybe not but at least they are going down swinging and as of today the dream is still alive.
- How was that goaltender interference on Tucker? He was in mid-air and backwards because of the Flyer player.
- If that was goaltender interference then how does the Devils game-winner count?
- Why doesn't Poni have any luck? Did he desecrate an Indian burial ground lately?
- Forget luck, where's the patience? He had enough time to have the proverbial cup of tea in the last minute and he shot it right at Biron.
- Can a broken stick stop being an automatic penalty? Composites can become so brittle after prolonged use that incidental contact can break them. Refs need to use a little discretion or keep slashing penalties to ones that actually touch a player.