With the Stanley Cup Final taking a couple of days off and given the fact that a team associated with the Maple Leafs was playing for something, I was vaguely following Game 3 of the Calder Cup Final between Toronto and Norfolk on Thursday night.
In case you haven’t heard, the game ended in the most bizarre, most heart-breaking and most Maple Leafs way ever.
With the score tied 0-0 in overtime and Norfolk up 2-0 in the series, the puck is shot in to the Toronto zone just as players were exiting the Marlies’ zone from a previous rush. A Norfolk player is in an offside position when the puck is dumped in, but it doesn’t touch him, and he appears to make it out of the zone before the ensuing chaos commences. Looks like a standard dump-in.
Only goaltender Ben Scrivens had already left his net to play what he thought was going to be a pretty routine puck. Instead, the puck takes a wild bounce off of the stanchion, and beats Scrivens to the net. Game over. Norfolk is one win away from AHL supremacy.
While it’s hard for the average NHL fan to really grasp the heartbreak of an AHL game, remember, we’re still talking about a professional league’s championship series, and this is how the all important Game 3 ended.
You can watch the whole thing unfold here.
Between the controversy of the offside question and the bizarre goal itself, you can probably bet on seeing this ending played out on sports countdowns for many years to come.
Now here are some morning links:
- “Pucking Around” might be the best headline I’ve seen so far in regards to the fluke finish to that game (SB Nation).
- Devils, Kings face long flights differently (Wall Street Journal).
- Adam Henrique has experience rallying from 0-3 playoff hole (New York Post).
- DeBoer’s lineup shifts pay off for Devils (New York Post).
- Kings return to their happy place…the road (The Daily Breeze).
- Ace Bailey’s spirit lives on in hockey and the Los Angeles Kings (Sporting News). This is from yesterday afternoon, but it’s worth a share.
- Goldwater Institute seeks to stop Coyotes vote (theScore.com). Seriously, the Coyotes Sale Saga just won’t ever end, will it?
- Canada is growing on highly touted Russian prospect Mikhail Grigorenko (Sun Media). “I came here to play in the NHL. Look, I have a Canada polo (shirt) on.” Well, I’m sold on the kid.
- The Top 6 NHL Combos, presented by Subway and theScore.com.
- A solid look at Playoff Hockey Hugs (Puck Daddy).