I keep forgetting that we are very quickly closing in on the end of the NHL season. Usually, this is the grueling winter set between December and January where it’s games 40 and 50 and you’re really solidifying team play. Well now, in the 56 game season, we’re almost to the end.
With that, a lot of teams are clinching their spot in the playoffs. The Maple Leafs are the first in the North to punch their ticket to the post-season and that’s no shock after how electric they have been this season. With a record of 31-13-5 and countless highlight reel moments, the Leafs have been one of the better teams to watch this year. On any given night, you have one of their players – usually Matthews, Nylander, Marner, or Tavares – scoring some crazy goal that makes playing look like a walk in the park. You had Jack Campbell starting the season on an insane, record setting win streak. They’ve been the team to watch, especially with all the intriguing story lines. Now they’ve got the first ticket in Canada to the playoffs. They clinched it in their 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadians. This game had 3 big moments in it. In those 4 goals Matthews had this one that you need to see:
Then, Jason Spezza – one of my favorites ever – had 2 assists which pushed is career point total to 966, which ties him with Maurice Richard. Spezza was also named the Leaf of the game for his efforts.
Last but not least, his buddy Joe Thornton also scored his 1,100th career assist during the game. INSANE number there.
I don’t want to say it, I don’t want to jinx it but this season has been like a bit of a fairytale for the Leafs. They absolutely plowed through the North division at times and sure they’ve had their struggles. They’ve been without their starting goalie Freddie Andersen, they hit a real tough patch of games in March – all of these things happen in a hockey season. But they got through that and they’ve still kicked ass. They’ve made the big trades for the run. They have some very special veterans who deserve a Cup. I’m not saying shit because I am a mush BUT I’d keep an eye on these boys in the playoffs. If nothing, you’ll see some sick goals throughout that series.
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Featured Image: Maple Leaf's Twitter