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Lightning win Game 7: Winner takes it all

No more ace to play.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Seven Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

This is going to be a very lowkey recap. It’s hard to find anything meaningful to say about a Game Seven until it’s over.

First Period

Auston Matthews with the opening faceoff.

Mitch Marner, bless his wee cotton socks, with a hit on Victor Hedman, and away we go.

John Tavares with the first shot.

This game is a go.

Great play by Kerfoot, but JT doesn’t get enough on it to get by Vasilevskiy.

Marner with a great chance. The crowd is so loud, so into it, and the whistles are well in pockets. It’s an old-school playoff game so far.

Oh, ho. The Leafs get a power play on an obvious trip against Alex Kerfoot.

The Leafs don’t get a goal, but they do get a weird penalty as the power play expires. Mark Giordano goes off for puck over glass that he thought was a deflection off of him.

Souuuuuuup. That was the PK, on a very nervous making power play by the Lightning.

Something has gone on with Brayden Point, and he can’t put weight on his right leg. This is very unfortunate. He twisted as he fell with his skates jammed up against the boards.

The third line gets a rush for the Leafs, but David Kämpf gets pressed to the boards and doesn’t make a play on the puck. Nick Paul takes it and scores eventually.

1-0 Lightning

The Lightning immediately take a penalty as Stamkos goes off for holding.

The Leafs get one chance at the horn, but Vasilevskiy has already made the save.

Thoughts

  • I can’t separate this from the context, but that felt like the most intense period of hockey since the last one in this series.
  • It wasn’t where the goal came from, but I thought Tampa had the special teams edge in that one, the stats disagree, though.

Second Period

Point back on the bench, but did not put weight on his leg to get there. He can’t play when he tries, and I feel like I’ve seen this movie. Didn’t he do this two years ago?

With that emotional drama out of the way, we can all play a hockey game now.

Leafs do a series of cycle passes and shots, and it’s like a trip in a time machine. There’s nothing at the net, so the pass comes back to the defender, who shoots through traffic, and no real scoring opportunities are revealed.

Can you score this way? Sure. Can you score a lot that way? Only if you’re the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Leafs get a goal and a penalty at the same time. So the goal does not count. The whistle had gone on the penalty call — a pick by Holl — before the goal went in.

This gets called because Holl actually falls down, making it obvious what he was doing. Is that right or just or just likely to happen because people react to what they see in the moment? You can yell about it, I’ve got a game to watch.

This is heartbreaking, though, because the goal was beautiful. I’m not posting a video of the non-goal. This is not the land of what could of been, but only what is.

Souuuuuup. The Leafs are under siege on this power play, unfortunately making me right about this, not the stats, but Jack Campbell saves this game with that two minutes.

Scoooooooooooooooooooores.

Captain Morgan ties the game.

Nylander on a rush shoots it high after an intense flurry of Leafs action.

Bloody hell. Rush at one end, this time it’s half the Matthews line out of the play, then Muzzin can’t make the play at the boards, and Nick [expletives deleted] Paul gets another.

2-1 Lighting

I don’t love Jack Campbell on that one, but I’m not rewatching it. Grinding the grievance axe misses the point in a team sport.

Thoughts

After all of that, it’s status quo with the Lightning up by one. This game takes seconds to play, you just never know which seconds count.

Third Period

Something weird happened there. A three-on-one, which the Lightning don’t play with much verve, lands on Campbell and sort of dies in his jersey. Then it’s a giant rebound. I feel like that was badly edited fake film of whatever really happened.

Yikes. Nick Paul on a super fast break goes head first into the net, and the net coming off seems to be what takes down Jack Campbell, who of course tells the trainer he’s fine.

Campbell stays in, Paul seems to be okay as well, which is more shocking.

No penalty on the play because Paul outskated the Leafs defender trying to bring him down.

Marner draws a penalty, and the Leafs have a power play.

Jack Campbell obviously not 100%, but staying in the game. I’ve definitely seen this movie.

This is the best Leafs power play I’ve seen in a while. Their PK is dying against the Lightning, but this isn’t. The second unit also puts in their best performance.

Come on Leafs. Please. I can’t bring myself to type great shift again. Even though they keep having them.

Campbell pulled with two and a half to go.

Thoughts

I don’t wanna talk

About things we’ve gone through

Though it’s hurting me

Now it’s history

I’ve played all my cards

And that’s what you’ve done too

Nothing more to say

No more ace to play

Love you all, Leafs fans. Be good to each other.