Toronto Maple Leafs Run the Table, Go 5-1 During Tough Stretch

Toronto Maple Leafs - Mitchell Marner (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Mitchell Marner (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Florida Panthers 7, Toronto Maple Leafs 6. (OT Final).

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers played one hell of an entertaining game on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, we get gifted with a completely awesome game, and all it does is bring people out of the woodwork to talk about “playoff hockey”  – which is completely predictable, and totally boring.

Wait a minute, you’re telling me that two teams that have each played games in like seven or eight of the last 11/12 days, playing on a Monday, a month before the playoffs, in the 70th game of the season, aren’t playing their best?

Get out of here!

If there should be one thing no one is allowed to talk about, it’s “playoff hockey”  before it’s the actual playoffs.   The NHL should really be called the NFL – the No Fun League – because I swear to god, half the people who watch hockey consider it their job to sabotage any semblance of fun.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida

This was a 7-6 game where there 5v5 score was 2-2.

The Leafs let in a shot from 80 feet, and three power-play goals.  All after developing a lead they could blow once in 100 games even if they never even tried to hold a lead.   This game – especially after the Leafs were up 5-1 – was completely meaningless.

It doesn’t “show” anything, except that it’s human nature to stop trying when you have a huge lead.  *(look up “NHL Score Effects” if you don’t believe that).

In my opinion, this was one of the best games to watch all year – it was incredibly fun, and that Mitch Marner goal alone was worth the hour it took me to watch it (on tape delay, because only a sucker watches intermissions or commercials).

As to the Leafs – they usually have the best penalty killing in the league (if you factor in their ability to score on the PK) so a night where they had played seven in 11, switched goalies halfway through the game, and were facing a great offensive team, I really don’t think it’s fair to complain about allowing three PP goals against.

If anything, I like the fact that once the Leafs blew a four goal lead, they actually managed to come from behind and force overtime.  OT is a coin-flip, so ultimately, neither team should really be too happy with this game.  But then again, neither team should be too unhappy either.

The Toronto Maple Leafs just ran a gauntlet of playing the NHL’s best teams, in succession, and they ended up winning six in a row and taking the seventh to OT.  Back-to-back against two top divisional rivals, they took 75% of the points available to them.

That’s incredibly successful…..that is, unless you focus on the one bad thing out of a hundred.

Next. Leafs Develop 3 Stars in 30 Years on D. dark

In conclusion, to all but the whiniest, most jaded and annoying people in hockey, that was an incredible game.  Also that, and if the Leafs have to play Florida and their hilariously bad defense in the playoffs, I would expect the Leafs to win in four or five games.