It was over a month ago now, but the memory of the great collapse remains as fresh as ever in the minds of Toronto Maple Leafs fans. The Maple Leafs, of course, famously squandered a three-goal lead versus the Boston Bruins with ten minutes remaining in the third period of Game Seven. To be even more specific, they blew a two goal lead with under a minute and a half remaining in the game.
It was the type of sporting rarity that we’re unlikely to ever see again. The type of thing one doesn’t usually see in his or her lifetime. Hell, it’s the type of thing that may occur once in sixty lifetimes.
You can joke to your heart’s content about how the Leafs were this close to marching to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 1967. Leafs fans aren’t laughing.
I took it upon myself to solicit stories from Leafs fans on their experiences from Game Seven. Not even trolling, I swear. I received scores of responses via email, Twitter, and even conducted a couple of old fashioned face-to-face conversations. The responses I received were reflective, sad, bizzarre, incoherent, and sometimes hilarious. Some names have been changed (when requested). Here’s a thorough sampling for your reading pleasure/despair. Read the rest of this entry »
“You see every decision I make is arbitrary and based on nothing at all and I’m awful at this.”
The NHL is and always will be an incredibly dangerous league for its participants. Hockey is not exactly a low-contact game to begin with and obviously these guys are flying around and getting better at everything with each passing year. The NHL of today resembles that of the 1980s and ’90s and even early 2000s, for example, in only the most cursory ways: There’s a stick and a puck and skates but the blue lines have moved, there’s a trapezoid behind the net, and the goalies’ pads are smaller and also guys are just about getting killed in every damn game you watch.
How many times in this postseason have we watched a game and said, “Oh, that’s something Brendan Shanahan is going to have to look at?” If it’s not literally every single game so far, it’s pretty damn close, because when the intensity gets ratcheted up to the levels typically observed this time of year, lots of elbows start flying around, lots of knees get taken out, and all that. It’s unavoidable. Or so we’d be led to believe. Read the rest of this entry »
Did Bailey send the e-mail?
Vitriol is noticeably absent on the ice during this Stanley Cup final beyond some chirping here and there — as I type this Jarret Stoll gets off scot free from a boarding call while Steve Bernier heads to the dressing room, go figure — but some hatred has popped up between the two Public Relations departments.
Read the rest of this entry »
In his net, where he should be
When it comes to goaltenders who have put together good seasons behind the top notch guys – Lundqvist, Quick, Elliott, etc. – not many of them have put together better years than Marc-Andre Fleury. Sure, the Pens are probably the most impressive team on the planet right now, but with #29 in net they are free to play a much more free wheeling style than they do with Brent Johnson or Brad Thiessen.
Unfortunately, its not all fun and games for Fleury as he has been known to have the occasional misstep. As sad as it is to say, I know plenty of people who refuse to accept him as a good hockey player because of his World Juniors misstep with Patrick O’Sullivan.
And when he makes plays like the one you’re about to see with Frans Nielsen I know said people are grinning heartily.
Take a look as Fleury misplays this breakaway. Read the rest of this entry »
I don't think he celebrated this one
It’s no secret that Erik Karlsson is having one hell of a year offensively. This blog’s venerable editor, Mr. Justin Bourne, has previously explored the merits of Karlsson’s year in the grand scheme of awards consideration. With points in his last three games he was looking to extend his streak against the Leafs on Saturday.
He didn’t do it the way he wanted to though, as he shows us all a bit of an odd way to score on your own net.
Essentially what happened here is Karlsson takes the puck behind his net after Ben Bishop leaves him the puck. Karlsson is forced to play it quickly with Tim Connolly on the forecheck. The result of the play is a puck in Ottawa’s net.
Take a look. Read the rest of this entry »
Things are just different over there.
I’ve been known to bring you updates from across the world of hockey before, and I figured a month of exclusively North American hockey coverage was probably a little excessive SOOOOOOOOOOO here we are with a huge brawl from the EBEL during a playoff game between KHL Medveščak Zagreb and EC KAC.
Kudos to the Vancouver Sun for bringing this to my attention.
Basically what seems to have happened is Frank Banham of the Zagreb squad blindsides an EC KAC player in the slot. Obviously he gets penalized for this since that’s generally what happens in these scenarios, and he takes exception to the call, leaves the penalty box and calamity ensues. Here’s the box score. (!) Read the rest of this entry »