Last night’s game was a rollercoaster of emotions. The Leafs started poorly, very obviously the second fastest team on the ice, but came out in the second period and really dominated the game in the offensive zone. Finally in the third, they were playing like they were down and the Flames like they were ahead. It was a good mentality to have, unfortunately, that situation came to pass with an unfortunate goal late in the third.

Thankfully shortly after that, William Nylander not only scored the game-tying goal with two minutes left and the game-winning goal in overtime.

I thought the Leafs had lost that game when the Flames went up. To have them come all the way back lightning fast was a whirlwind of awesome. This feeling comes once in a while throughout a season and I always enjoy basking in it.

In the process of basking, I wanted to relive some of Nylander’s best moments as well as Hutchinson’s moments. As our third goalie, we only expected disappointment from him, but hats off as he dueled with David Rittich and won. He faced a lot of tough shots and simply put didn’t make a mess of them. Limited rebounds, limited swimming, and he was very aware of when his skaters were tired and in a vulnerable position. Watching him after two games of Garret Sparks on the Stockton Heat was a relieving breath of fresh air.

On Nylander, he had his legs moving all game and took a lot of abuse down low from a very agitating Flames defense. Yeah, he loses the puck at the end of this battle, but he stole it from Backlund twice and had to get cross-checked in the back (illegally) to have it taken away. He was doing work like this all game and it’s very nice to see him get rewarded for it in the end.

Nylander led the Leafs in shot attempts and expected goals at 5v5, despite being eighth in icetime (less than 11 minutes at 5v5, 16 minutes in all situations!). His on-ice metrics were also great despite the limited icetime he got. And by the way, Sheldon, please, play him more!

Willy mentioned in his post-game interview how games like this are what the team needs to learn how to win in the playoffs. Unlucky, frustrating, and a goalie having a night on the other side. Not giving up, or forcing things, but instead keeping the intensity and trusting the process. I think every playoffs that’s come and gone he’s learned to be more consistent and this season will be no different.

Hey, this is cool. Nylander tried the same move on Price over the weekend, he got it to stick this time.

Just say he’s on a 36 goal/season pace! That’s still really good without any need to move the goalposts!

Quotes from his teammates showing some love. I mentioned on Twitter that I wish we could hear this stuff from his teammates more often than when he single-handedly wins a game. He gets a lot of crap, hearing this positive reinforcement from the people who know him best is important to have out in the world. It costs nothing to say “fuck yeah, Willy’s awesome, we love him!” Especially when he gets xenophobic hit-pieces written about him on the daily.

And for Hutchinson, here is a compilation of some of his most notable saves. Again, I really liked his rebound control and calmness in net. He was super vital to the win.

Catch and hold. Perfect.

Various Leafs and Branches

William Nylander 2, Calgary Flames 1 | by: Yours Truly

Canadiens fire Claude Julien: What does this mean for the Leafs? | by: Katya

This article by Katya did really well on our site, but for comparison, the EOTP article of the firing did three times better. It had insanely big reach.

Auston Matthews, 18 goals in 20 games, injured wrist. Normally I would be upset that he put his long term health at risk, but Matthews pretty much single-handedly put us in the playoffs after 20 games, so I’m not going to argue his choice. Thank you, Auston.

Arizona’s Craig Morgan wrote puff piece on Mitchell Miller, washing away critiques, and framing an inaccurate representation of his attacks on Isaiah Meyer-Crothers. The article is linked if you want to read it, but I’ve also shared some very important criticisms that should be consumed with it.

Isaiah’s mom even had to come online and dispute the claims.

Jokerit of the KHL will play all their playoff games in Russia this year. I guess they weren’t granted access to come in and out of Finland for the tournament.