Let’s get one thing straight. This series has been dirty, on both sides.
Shea Weber was fined $5,000 for a crosscheck to Wayne Simmonds. It’s not clear which crosscheck they meant, but our top investigator believes it’s probably this.
I think I found it.— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 23, 2021
Look on the left when the Leafs are on the PP. Weber crosscheck Simmonds in the back of the head pic.twitter.com/BOfDdd3Yfo
You know what? Yeah. That’s bad. You shouldn’t crosscheck people in the back of the head, or any part of the head. Hockey generally accepts crosschecks in front as long as it’s to their back or something — turn their spine into dust, it’s just good old playoff hockey!
But the sad part is that Weber’s crosscheck there was probably not the worst or only act that should have been penalized and maybe fined, but wasn’t. For example, Wayne Simmonds did this:
if weber gets fined 5k for that, simmonds should be fined 5k for this. pic.twitter.com/hDRTmcsD5c— x - ✰ava✰ (@goaIcaufield) May 23, 2021
That’s pretty sneaky-dirty, and he got away with it. Maybe he was a bit pissed off that the Habs were crosschecking him in the back of the head all game. Maybe Weber and Edmundson were crosschecking Simmonds in the head all game because he was slashing them like that.
Just take it easy, be glad 44 isn’t suspended for his retaliatory crosscheck to Simmonds face. pic.twitter.com/jOvsy84LsL— Michael Scott (@Mrbs71) May 23, 2021
You want to be the stereotypical homer fan that only sees the dirty in what THEIR team does, while insisting that YOUR team doing it was justified or not that bad? Yeah, you’re right. Fuck the Habs!
But seriously, this is a series the Habs said from the beginning they were going to be physical. They were going to try and get the Leafs off their game. You don’t really do that with clean checks, you do that with dirty shit you think you can get away with because it’s the playoffs. It’s not like the Leafs-Habs series is the only one that’s been like this either. The Avs-Blues, the Panthers-Lightning, the Bruins-Caps off the top of my head have had their share of problems too. Fines, suspensions, games getting out of hand, the lot.
Keefe called it after the game. If that’s your strategy, you’d better be prepared to take some penalties. The Habs were one of the most penalized team in the regular season too, so getting penalties was going to happen these playoffs. They probably just hoped they’d get away with more, or that the Leafs would take more to balance it out.
And we can expect it to continue both this series, and for every playoff series after it — whether the Leafs advance or not. It’s just good ol’ playoff hockey. Where manly men man it up and manly play hockey the right (manly) way.
ONTO THE LINKS
Back to Excited Episode 144: Games 1 & 2 Reaction | by Arvind and Fulemin
Day After Thoughts: The Maple Leafs showcased the value of their depth | by Filipe Dimas at TLN
‘We’ve got family watching’: How ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ covered the John Tavares injury | by Sean FitzGerald at The Athletic
Leafs prospects are still doing things — at this point, just Dmitry Ovchinnikov and Mikhail Abramov. Here’s Dmitry playing in an U20 tournament for Russia.
Abramov and the Victoriaville Tigres have had a surprising run these playoffs, and were on the brink of elimination yesterday. Abramov had two assists (including the beauty below) and they held on for a 5-4 win to push it to the final game of the semi-finals against the heavily favored Charlottetown. The next game will decide who goes to the QMJHL finals.
AROUND THE HOCKEY WORLD
The Nashville Predators are not going down without a fight, tying the series 2-2 against Carolina in the second overtime.
The Jets were up 2-0 in the series against Winnipeg going into last night. Even though they won game two, their coach is saying he intentionally didn’t ice the best roster for... reasons?
Ehlers wanted in for game 2 but Maurice didn’t want to bring he and Dubois in at the same time. #NHLJets— Sean Reynolds (@snseanreynolds) May 23, 2021
Andreas Johnsson discovered a 100 year old mango tree. Current and former Leafs were loving it pic.twitter.com/fpJzBKeOw9— Michael (@TheLeafsIMO) May 23, 2021
I hate how much I love a Boston Bruin, even if it is Pastrnak.
Meanwhile, at the supremely weird World Hockey Championships going on, underdog countries are pulling off all the upsets, and for the first time ever Team Canada starts their tournament 0-2 after losing 5-1 to Team USA yesterday.
Have a great Victoria Day everyone!