Every tank has its day.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got back into the win column tonight, downing the WInnipeg Jets in overtime by a score of 4-3. While many of us are fully on board with tanking out the rest of the season in hopes of the highest draft pick possible, I’m glad some 8-year old hockey fan who doesn’t understand tank jobs got to stay up late and see a Leafs victory.
It looked like we were in for another classic (terrible) Leafs performance pretty early. That is to say, David Clarkson took a dumb roughing penalty not even two minutes into the game. Somehow, the Jets wouldn’t make him pay for his transgressions, and would actually let Toronto take a 1-0 lead midway through the period on a wicked, wicked top-corner slapper from Leo Komarov.
That wouldn’t be the end of Toronto’s penalty troubles, of course. Winnipeg would take the lead before the first period would expire on two powerplay goals from Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele.
The Leafs and Jets would trade goals again in the second period, from Daniel Winnik and Michael Frolik respectively.
Twice Winnipeg would take the lead, and twice they would squander it. Nazem Kadri would wrap around the net and bury his 15th goal of the season to tie things up at 3-3 before the end of regulation.
James van Riemsdyk would be the eventual game winning hero, snapping a one-timer past Michael Hutchinson off an Olli Jokinen pass in overtime for the Leafs first win in six games.
Could it be anyone else? “Deadline” Daniel Winnik had a goal, an assist, and a fight. That’s a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. That’s our Blue Warrior. That’s worthy of a first round pick at the trade deadline. Ok, that last one was a stretch.
But, hey. You know what? Shout out to Kadri (1G, 1A) and Rielly (2A, +3). Both of them were pretty good tonight, but you know, gotta pump up Winnik’s trade value.
Take a Breather
The Leafs won’t be in action again until Thursday, when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at the ACC. Tune in to TSN4 at 7:30pm.