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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs Postgame: Prince William

Check your pulse. Check our pulse. Check his pulse, and her pulse too. They never said it would be easy and they definitely didn’t say it would be pretty, but they said it would be hockey and that’s exactly what we got tonight.

Is that poetic or incoherent rambling? Yes.

Either way, the Leafs ended up with a 4-3 regulation win at home over the league’s best team in one of the wildest games of the year.

Corsis

The Leafs fell apart for a little stretch in the second there and allowed Tampa back into the game. In just 5:19, the Lightning managed to tie it. All for nothing, though, as Toronto came through with the regulation win anyway.

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1st period

Is this a recording? Leafs take a 1-0 lead, in a team that’s now taking the “get off to a quick start, score the first goal of the game” mantra to heart.

It was goal #13 for young William, assisted by… who else but William and Jake Gardiner? The period was pretty low event otherwise as things go, with the teams tied at 9 shots apiece once the twenty minute buzzer came and at the end of the first, it was 1-0 Buds.

2nd period

Is one William Nylander goal good enough for you? Why not two?

3:08 into the second period and William’s scored both goals of the hockey game. The assist this time come from the two other members of the Holy Rookie Class of 2016-17: Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews.

Later in the period, Jake Gardiner threw a puck through traffic to make it 3-0, his first goal since December 20th against the Blue Jackets.

Up 3-0 at home? Game over, right? Ah nvm, this is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After a bit of a sequence of “scrambly play” from the Leafs, Alex Killorn got the Bolts on the board. However, friend of the site and noted celebrity had some trouble with his television set, nullifying the goal.

The Leafs were outshot through 40 23-17, although it didn’t seem to matter much.

3rd period

We lied. The Leafs came out incredibly flat to start the third period, and were tied 78 seconds into the frame. Household name Nikita Kucherov scored his 30th goal of the season, which is just nuts at this point in the year, and then Yanni Gourde scored his 21st goal of the season, which seems like something a lot more people should be talking about considering he had 6 goals in just 22 games prior to this season.

Blow the lead the Leafs did, but blow the game they would not.

Though things went bad for the Leafs earlier in the period, they got lucky when James van Riemsdyk remembered once again he’s got a decent shot away from the net and snuck this one past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

There was a lot of breathing, a bit of drinking, and a whole lot of praying, but when the final whistle blew, it was a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Leafs’ 8th win in their past 10 games. Not bad at all.

Some tweets

The Leafs play the Blue Jackets Wednesday night. See you then.

  • lukewarmwater

    Lots of stats, but the stat that almost knocked me off my bar stool was the fact that some how a fast skating, offensive style team some how is 27th in power play opportunities. What is this the N.B.A. refs. Seriously folks it was a joke in this game as the hopeless refs swallowed the whistle.

  • lukewarmwater

    Definitely a statement game as the leafs played what appeared to be a playoff style of game. Awesome Auston Moses Matthews is obviously a hell of a goal scorer but he has the stick handling and passing of the late Jean Beliveau. Beautiful set ups for his sniper buddy William tonight. Btw I remember this documentary on Matthews in which his parents had him playing in half a rink with a boat load of yougsters on the ice at the same time. Young Awesome Auston Moses Matthews claims this is where he learned to be a master stick handler and passer.
    Jake the snake coiled that old stick and beat the Tampa goalie to give the big lead but you can see why Tampa is the favoured team to win the cup. In reality they have no weaknesses and they have the talented leading scorer to go along with the guy who is the best defenceman in the league namely Hedman who was dominant tonight. They also played a more physical game than the leafs and this is something the leafs will have to match come the playoffs. Unfortunately far too many of the lazy voting media simply check to see how many points Karlson or Subban have and give them the Norris trophy. Neither of these guys can play defence but Hedman truly plays the 200 foot game.
    Andersen maybe allowed one goal he would like to have back but other wise once again he was clutch especially at the end.
    To me another fascinating stat is that the good folks of the big smoke realise that they will likely see a win if they visit the barn to watch the twins of M.L.S.E., the leafs and the Raptors. The Raps have the best home record in the N.B.A. at 24 and 4 and the leafs have only I believe lost 8 times at home. So off the top of my greying head it is about 55 home games and the two young talented teams have just lost a combined 12 home games all year. Now that is truly impressive and a delight to the best sports fans in the world. Go leafs Go.