Last night was the Leafs’ first home playoff game in over four years. The atmosphere was electric. The anthem singing was loud enough to blow the roof off and Maple Leafs Square was a sea of blue and white. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.
The Leafs have been exceeding expectations for the past seven months. Coming into the series, everyone thought that it would be a cakewalk for Washington. Little did they know, the Toronto Maple Leafs are one darn good hockey team. They are fast, talented, and Frederik Andersen can totally match Braden Holtby save for save. The Leafs can also play a really physical hockey game. With players like Martin, Boyle, Hyman, Brown, and Kadri, they can leave a few bruises on the opponent.
They were down 2-0 early in the game. They fought back to make it 2-1. Then they went down 3-1. They killed a 5 on 3 penalty and then tied the game. Then they won it in overtime and now have a 2-1 series lead. No sane person could’ve predicted that the Leafs would be in this situation right now. It’s absolutely unbelievable.
When Bozak scored that goal, I was shocked. I had no idea that the Leafs were going to win that game, and I certainly wasn’t expecting overtime to end so quickly, especially since they went to double overtime two nights earlier. Then, my friend Sarah texted me and we celebrated together. One Leafs fan to the other. What a magical moment.
Let’s talk about that goal for a second. If you watch the replays, you can see the sheer joy on Bozak and Kadri’s faces because never in a million years would they have thought that they would be in this position right now. There are currently five players on the roster that were on the team in 2013. Bozak, Kadri, Komarov, Gardiner, and van Riemsdyk. Those five guys have been through hell and now they are playing in a Golden Era of Leafs hockey. They are savouring every moment of this, and you should to.
The Leafs are actually good again. What a time to be alive.
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