The Toronto Maple Leafs should actually start to plan the parade.
While they are at it, they should give permission to all Toronto Maple Leafs fans to enjoy the game in whatever damn way they please, cheer as much (or as little) as they want, and celebrate as early or as often as they want to.
If you told anyone not to count their chickens this morning, or if you said something along the lines of “it’s just one game….” please turn your badge in with security and exit the premises.,
The Leafs won 5-0, they didn’t just exercise their demons, they took them on an Insanity Total Fitness Workout with Shaun T.
Of course, you exorcise demons, but word play is fun. Not as fun as parade planning, or even as fun as watching your favorite team become series and Stanley Cup favorites, but still pretty fun.
Toronto Maple Leafs Open Playoffs With Pure Destruction
At 5v5, Tampa had a better Corsi, the Leafs had more shots, scoring chances were about even, but…the Leafs got way better goaltending. (all stats naturalstattrick.com).
As I said about 100 times leading up to the series, goaltending isn’t a significant advantage because even though Andre Vasilevskiy is always going to be better than Jack Campbell with a big enough sample size, goaltending is too volatile for that advantage to be guaranteed to manifest itself during a single seven game series.
On special teams it was no contest – the Tampa power-play had no answer for the Leafs, and the Leafs power-play was unstoppable – they scored on a 5 on 3, and they looked incredibly dangerous the rest of the time.
Overall, other than an extremely dumb choice by Sheldon Keefe to insert Kyle Clifford into the lineup, and Clifford’s subsequent idiotic boarding penalty, the Leafs were perfect.
The crowd was intense, the Leafs best players were their best players, and their depth was obvious.
In fact, given the blowout, and the absolute ton of penalties called, the Leafs 5v5 icetime was incredibly weird. I doubt anyone would have bet that Marner and Matthews would be the team’s second and third least used forwards at even-strength (not counting the 25 seconds of ice-time Clifford got).
Pierre Engvall led all Toronto Maple Leafs forwards in 5v5 ice-time, and David Kampf led all forwards in total ice-time. Congratulations to anyone who made that bet on now being a multimillionaire!
All said, I hope you enjoyed this game. I hope you cheered like it was the Stanley Cup Final and I really hope you didn’t hold anything back, or consider that this is just one game. It’s not just one game. It’s the start of something completely awesome.