A sweet pass from Tomas Plekanec to Andrew Shaw in overtime, and the Habs skate off with a 3-2 win in Toronto, thus ending Leaf fans and the HNIC crew’s dream of their beloved team crawling within two points of the boys from Quebec.
If only they could’ve won, sighed Leaf fans as they left bars or turned off the lights at home and tried to sleep, and the HNIC crew wrapped things up at the rink and sadly shook their heads and looked broken.
It was a back and forth game, one that had extra purpose considering the standings and the built-in rivalry, and for a change, one that probably kept many fans on the edge of their chairs and couches throughout.
Of course I don’t know for sure about the edge of chairs and couches. I’m only guessing.
A fast-paced affair which could’ve gone either way, and I could say that folks got their money’s worth at the ACC, except a bunch of lower seats probably went for a grand or so, so maybe the people sitting there didn’t exactly.
Depends on what a grand means to them I guess.
But it went Montreal’s way for a change, they keep their distance from a bunch of pretenders, including the Torontonians, after two sharpshooters and one Shaw raked the Leafs into the ditch.
A struggling team gets it done against a good young Toronto team that gets TV announcers’ libidos doing the watusi.
The Leafs would open the scoring in the first period when Habs rearguard Nikita Nesterov not only had the puck go in off him, but played his man in front so softly it was like he was up against Betty White.
Greg Pateryn sat while Nesterov dressed. Next game, in New Jersey on Monday, maybe that’ll change. Softness isn’t cool, unless it’s toilet paper and a few other things, like women.
In the second frame, with the man advantage, Max would bury a beauty pass from Alex Galchenyuk, and nine minutes later, Galchenyuk would bulge the twine with a great shot that gave the boys a 2-1 lead.
In the third, again with poor defensive coverage (this time by Alexei Emelin), Leafs super-rookie Auston Mathews would tie things and send it into overtime.
And that’s where Pleks and Shaw worked their magic.
This final photo shows the Rocket scoring his final goal, his 626th, on April 12, 1960 during the Stanley Cup Finals against the Leafs. I wrote to a Toronto paper after it happened, asking if they’d send me a photo, and they did.