Leafs Postgame: Win It For Steven

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS

“It was 4-1” is a phrase that is engrained into the hearts of many Leafs fans, used to describe a game that took the peaks and valleys of the past decade and change and threw them into a blender. Steven Stamkos now has his 4-1 moment; an era-closing game, one that actually ended with that score, and one that could be his last against the Leafs in his career. This time, though, the Leafs were winners.


Many were hoping that the coin would land on the other side for the sake of the tank tonight, but there was no way that the Leafs were letting this game go easily. After outshooting the Lightning in the first, the Leafs went on to open the scoring courtesy of Connor Carrick, who tracked a bouncing puck and blasted it past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The goal was the only one of the game until six minutes into the third period, where Brian Boyle turned a puck originally held by former Leafs defenceman Anton Stralman into his eleventh of the season to tie it up. The Leafs regained the lead shortly after, though, as Ben Smith was in just the right position to get a rebound off of Michael Grabner’s slapshot to make it 2-1. Empty netters from Zach Hyman and P.A. Parenteau sealed the deal in the closing minutes.

Blue Warrior

First goal as a Leaf and the team’s top possession player tonight with a 64.3% CF. Plus that reaction. How do you pick anybody other than Connor Carrick? You don’t, that’s how.

See You Next Time

The state of Florida continues their invasion of the Air Canada Centre on Thursday when the Leafs host the Florida Panthers. When this matchup happened late last year, Sam Carrick scored his first goal of as a Leaf; a neat parallel, even if the two aren’t even related to each other. Some might say that this could be Jaromir Jagr’s last game at the Air Canada Centre, though if we’re being realistic, he’s probably going to face the Leafs another 50 times before he considers retirement. Puck drop is at 7:30.

  • TGT23

    No, Mr. Bernier. I will not be fooled by a two game hotstreak, again! NO!

    Good game for the team, though. Nice to get a couple W’s. Still tied for last place, so the W doesn’t really hurt and it was a nice showcase for a certain Canadian Centre who may or may not be a UFA in a couple months……………

    • Bertly83

      Me too. I won’t get fooled by bernier hot streak. But i will be fooled by kadri’s hot streak when he starts scoring again.

      I love analytics because I get to choose how I apply streaks analystics in a manner just like those that watch hockey.

  • TGT23

    bernier is pumping up his trade value last minute before the summer. i can’t wait to witness jvr-stamkos-nylander next year! pretty much all of the leafs young d player excellent tonight especially carrick and marincin. even the leafs 4th line played well. is komarov injured? that’s their leading goal scorer…. anyway, nice to see parenteau stick up for the rookies.

  • Gary Empey

    Leafs prospects send message to Tank Nation.

    TANK NATION ASYLUM cancels their order for the crate of Champagne .


    The rumour that the beleaguered Officiatos of TANK NATION are now incognito, has not been verified.

    • Gary Empey

      I’d love to see it but I’ve been fooled by this management group / coaching staff before. If there’s one thing they know how to do well it’s tanking. They will find a way to lose. They’ll send those responsible back to AHL or onto IR, put the rookie goalies into the net etc. – whatever it takes. But the tank will roll on.

        • TGT23

          That seems… unlikely.

          The new system is designed in such a way that you need only miss the playoffs to have a chance, and finish in the bottom four to have a realistic chance. I’d be absolutely stunned if the NHL didn’t find some way to make sure Edmonton didn’t win so that leaves three teams with a chance at #1.

          The tank can stand to win a few games without crippling the effort. So long as they don’t go on some ridiculous hot streak in the last 13 games the tank will roll on.

      • Bertly83

        With all due respect that was not this management team or coaching staff. Shanahan spent one year just being quiet and assessing what the team had and then he made his moves. Yes he did trade away some pieces with real value and he cleaned out the old management and scouting system and in it’s place he put smart and properly placed people in the areas of responsibility. This team today does not bear any resemblance to any of the Leaf teams/management of the last generation.

        • FlareKnight

          With all due respect to you I was talking about this group – Shanahann did fire Carlyle’s assistants before the season began and Carlyle when he had the team in the playoff position to be replaced by the coach that banned the players from playing offence. Then they traded our 3 best and most dedicated players (Kessel, Phaneuf and Reimer). Previous crew tried to win – they weren’t very good at it but they weren’t trying to tank.

          • TGT23

            Wow, there is so much revisionist history in this statement the U.S.A would be proud.

            1 – The team was in 8th but falling out of the playoffs and on a pretty big skid when Carlyle was fired.

            2 – Carlyle, who had been at the helm of the team for the previous 18-wheeler collapse the year before.

            3 – Considering Kessel’s fall off this season to being what looks to be just a 22-25 goal scorer, can we really say it was all Horachek? He had the team play more defensive hockey, Kessel clearly can’t play in a system where he’s responsible for doing more than rushing down the ice.

            4 – Kessel was one of our most dedicated players? That’s what we’re going with?

            5 – Though earlier I used (and will continue to use) the word “tank”, I don’t feel like this is a traditional tank. Buffalo tanked last season. The Leafs have been in a developmental stage most of the season (Kadri, Corrado, Marincin, Gardiner, Reilly at the NHL level. The kids in the AHL). A tank, to me, is actively trying to lose. This organization is actively developing and assessing talent. Winning or losing is secondary to that. But, maybe that’s just my opinion.

            6 – I’m not entirely sure you can classify last season as a tank, either. The team tried to compete most of the year, was falling off, and then made changes trying to right the ship. When it was clear that couldn’t be done, they entered the early stages of a full rebuild. They didn’t TRY to suck, they just did suck.

            7 – Touching on your previous comment; this regime has been in charge for less than two full seasons (if you count Shanny coming in as the start of the regime). At what point were you “fooled” into thinking they weren’t rebuilding/tanking/developing youth, previously?

            They clearly weren’t tanking to start last season. Then they started well and Shanny waited. Then they fell off a cliff. Then they tried to right the ship. Then they failed. Then they fired everyone. Then they went into the off-season and declared they were going into a full rebuild. Then they started and have not given a single hint they aren’t still doing that.

            Where were you ever fooled they weren’t doing exactly what they were trying to do at that time?

      • TGT23

        Fooled by this management group? They’ve been together since the summer and the group message has been:

        “Expect pain. Expect change”

        Your statements are the exact opposite of everything done by everyone involved. Unless this is your subtle way of saying forums need a sarcasm font.

        Or are you embracing George Costanza’s opposite day mentality?

        Has Uber been sending satanic messages about the leafs to your phone? (too soon?)

        Am i being cyberpunked?

  • Bertly83

    Be damned if you do,be damned if you don’t.All the tankers here were down on Bernier for his play earlier so he picks his game up.Now everyone is down on him for winning LOL.

    It’s amazing how one player can terrify the entire nation.Wonder what the odds are for him to win all the remaining games Jeff.

  • FlareKnight

    Bernier is channeling his inner Martin Gerber right now. You won’t see him playing this well next year. He’s just making sure to screw up the pick.

    He better get traded in the summer thanks to these pointless wins.

    Forget the whole “the pick is fine so long as they don’t go on a ridiclous” we’re already on it! We’ve won 3 of the last 4, Bernier has won 3 straight. Past Edmonton in terms of points percentage and win the games at hand we’re definitely passing them. Not far behind Calgary and Winnipeg. With games against Buffalo and Calgary coming up.

    If Florida doesn’t light this team up things are going to get very bad in a hurry.