Whether or not you like the steps the Leafs have made over the course of this rebuild, I think there is one thing that we can all agree on; the Habs are the worst. Any time that you get the opportunity to beat the Montreal Canadiens, you go for it – pre-season, regular season, home ice, away ice, Xbox, Sega Genesis. Doesn’t matter. You do it. Tonight was the Leafs’ first attempt to do so on the year, and while it took an extra minute or so, they pulled it off, winning 2-1 in three on three overtime.
This game was a very closely contested one; no team really carried much momentum in the shot department for more than a couple of minutes at a time. For a team to take control of the game, the had to do it on the scoresheet, and late in the first period, the Habs opened things up. Mitch Marner wasn’t able to beat Devante Smith-Pelly a puck in the corner, which lead to Jeff Petry having a wide open opportunity to set up Michael McCarron, and he made no mistake.
Toronto did their best to even the tide, and with a few seconds left in the second period, this happened:
It was regulation’s last goal, which sent the game into overtime. Technically, the NHL requested that this game head into overtime anyway, but these two teams made it happen for real. It didn’t take long for something to give, as Jake Gardiner struck once again for the winner.
You have to give it to Jake Gardiner, no? He was part of both odd-man rushes and was on the ice for six more attempted shots for than against while only starting 33% of his shifts in the defensive zone. Moreover, he was consistently in good position, and was about as mistake free as you can get.
See You Next Time
The Leafs return to the ice on Friday Night, when they’ll take on the Buffalo Sabres. William Nylander is expected to grossly outperform Jack Eichel, so I’d make sure you’re tuned into Sportsnet 360 at 7:30 PM sharp, if you aren’t going to be at the Air Canada centre.