Less than a week ago I came across an article in the Toronto Sun stating that the best part of round one of the NHL Playoffs was the utter humiliation of the Habs. After last night's Epic Meltdown (according to TSN), all I can say is, isn’t karma a b*tch?
The Habs may have had the ugliest series of the first round, rife with flaring tempers, injuries and sloppy play, and though they were blown out twice by the Senators by a score of 6-1, at least they didn’t make history. The Leafs, on the other hand, became the first team in NHL Playoff history to blow a 3 goal lead in the third period of a game 7. Not only did they scramble and fall and allow the Bruins to tie up the game with less than 30 seconds remaining in the 3rd period, but they continued to flounder in OT. In all fairness, I’m not sure any player could keep a level head knowing they came within 9 minutes of winning their first playoff series since 2004 only to lose it in the dying seconds, and clearly the Leafs couldn’t keep it together. The Bruins came out in extra time oozing with confidence and within 6 minutes Bergeron was celebrating the goal that propelled them into round two. I give a ton of credit to Julien who played the dying minutes with four forwards on the ice. The man knows how to coach in the off season. The Leafs, on the other hand, didn’t know where to turn leaving Reimer to fend for himself behind Chara who stood strong in his crease. It was a devastating and humiliating finish.
Thanks, but I’ll take the Habs' meltdown any day, because at least Habs fans were skeptical about their chances. Toronto fans were planning the parade in the third period and watched it unfathomably slip away. I guess it had been so long since the Leafs made the playoffs that writer Mike Strobel, who penned the abovementioned article, forgot that the hockey gods keep a close eye on the playoffs.