clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Leafs @ Habs Game 4 Recap: Action Grandpas Are Go!

New, comments

But seriously, Jason Spezza is your dad now.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Another night. another game in Montreal. The Toronto Maple Leafs were carrying series momentum into their back-to-back with the Montreal Canadiens, but fatigue has to be a factor when there’s this much on the line.

Could Carey Price pull a win out of thin air? Or would the Leafs’ relentless firepower win the day? ...Well, you know how it ended now, so let’s get to the GIFs.

First Period

Were the Leafs...taking it easy out there during those first five minutes? (No, seriously. You tell me.) Game 4 started sloooowly, even with Jason Spezza out there looking for some biscuits to go with his jam.

I’ll chalk it up to both teams being pretty worn out after playing back-to-back playoffs games. But the quiet never lasts, and the first power play went to the Leafs as Jesperi Kotkaniemi got caught slashing Mitch Marner.

The Leafs kept the puck moving, but the power play goal eluded them. And once the teams were back at even strength, it didn’t take long for Cole Caufield to storm Toronto’s net.

It’s at moments like these that you’re glad to have a Jack Campbell in the house....

Even as the Leafs picked up the pace in the last eight minutes, Carey Price played like an MVP, and Jon Merrill just kept blocking shots to beat the band.

And then came double trouble of the penalty kind. T.J. Brodie got a slashing call for this play against Eric Staal – who, to be fair, had been frustrating his line all period.

And less than four minutes later, there were TOO MANY MEN ON THE ICE? How does that even happen in the playoffs? William Nylander served the penalty and got to watch as Alex Kerfoot came up with an astonishing short-handed chance...only to be turned away by an equally astonishing scorpion-kick deflection by Nick Suzuki.

Were you happy the Leafs left the ice with obvious momentum? Disappointed that they hadn’t converted it into goals yet? Or just a little numb from watching Price stand on his head again, with the 0-0 score mocking your faith?

Ah, but those never last, either.

Second Period

William Nylander is scoring like, a goal per game right now. Did you know that? He got one past Price less than a minute and a half into the second, thanks in part to this sweet primary assist from Alex Galchenyuk.

Almost exactly 11 minutes later, Spezza decided it was breakfast time. He got his second goal of the playoffs off Galch’s second primary assist of the game.

The Habs were understandably frustrated by this time, so Ben Chiarot took it out on Auston Matthews, and paid for it with a cross-checking penalty. They’ve both been to this clown show before, so don’t start.

And for the power play, Speznasty, still a bit peckish, teamed up with fellow Action Grandpa Joe Thornton to give you this.

Did the refs miss a call on this play? Kerfoot isn’t even trying to pretend he isn’t tripping Paul Byron in this clip.

But make-up calls aren’t just for Tim Peel, so don’t act shocked that Adam Brooks got called for roughing during this kerfuffle with Brett Kulak.

Unfortunately for the Canadiens, they couldn’t convert on that power play, either. And this time, the Leafs went into the locker room clearly in control.

End-of-period mood:

Third Period

When you’re leading 3-0 with 20 minutes left to play, you may have to resist the temptation to try to sit on a lead. It helps when Soupy is minding your net.

Jumbo, looking for the Gordie Howe hat trick, got into two minutes’ worth of trouble with a bit of senior-on-senior violence against Staal.

Pulling Price for the extra attacker was quite literally the last trick in the book, and the Habs almost didn’t fail...

...until Alex Galchenyuk pulled out his last knife.

The game in bullet points:

Sportsnet wraps it up with a free history lesson:

And here’s a final thought:

There you have it. Can the Leafs put it away on Thursday night? Only time will tell. Until then...enjoy.