I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about watching the Leafs. It might have been when I was there live at the ACC, or maybe it was during the last playoff run yes kids, believe it or not there used to be hockey around here after the beginning of April. But who cares when it was. The point is that after seeing what I saw on Tuesday, I was looking forward to Friday’s game more than I had looked forward to one in a long, long time.
And I must say, what a game it was!
For 55 minutes, the Leafs played hard. For 55 minutes, they played like winning was a matter of life and death. For 55 minutes, they played like they were in the playoffs and losing was not an option.
Unfortunately, hockey games are 60 minutes long.
McAmmond started the comeback by taking a pass from Vladimir Zharkov and beating Gustavsson with a backhander to cut the Maple Leafs’ lead to a goal.
Less than a minute later, Alexei Ponikarovsky was called for hooking, and Zajac tied it with 44 seconds to go after taking a nice cross-ice pass from McAmmond.
With everyone thinking overtime, the Devils attacked and stole the game. Defenceman Mike Mottau took a shot that Gustavsson stopped, but Pandolfo scored his first goal in 16 games by converting the rebound his fourth goal of the season.
This team amazes me. I had no idea there were so many ways to lose a game, but the Leafs are educational if nothing else.
Nothing against The Monster, but I was wondering all game why he was starting instead of Giguere, you know, the guy who shut out the very same team on Tuesday in his first game with us. Call me crazy, but why not try to keep that momentum going? I’m not sure who’s getting the start against Ottawa tonight, but if his name includes the words Jonas or Gustavsson, Ron Wilson needs his head examined.
One other thing. As shitty as it was to see Ponikarovsky take the penalty near the end of the game, I can’t totally blame him. He did it trying to stop what could have easily been a goal from going in, and he succeeded. How was he supposed to know that a few seconds later that goal and then one more were going to find their way in? I know the answer is because these are the Leafs and that’s how they role, but you know what I mean.
I need to stop thinking about this game now, I’m getting so depressed you’d think I was being forced to watch wrestling without a FastForward button.
Here’s the bottom line. If I ever mention getting excited about watching these guys play again, somebody punch me until I come to my senses. Thank you and good day.