Well, after 7 long months of being locked out of the site I am so happy to say that I am able to write again. For anybody who does’t recognize me, my former name is _Rich_Money. Now on to the game at hand, last nights home opener because there is a ton to get through.
The evening starts out nice, we’ve got the intros, probably the biggest ovation I’ve seen for players in the last decade at the opener, and then the game starts and things get crazy.
The Leafs clearly had not slowed down after shellacking Winnipeg on Wednesday at the start of the first period. Barely 2 and a half minutes in, Nikita Zaitsev launches a knuckle-puck shot from the point that Dominic Moore managed to tip home for his first goal as a Leaf since 2009. Barely 60 seconds later, J.T Miller bats home a rebound after the Rangers put on hard pressure to make it 1-1. Just 90 seconds after that Zach Hyman manages to split the Rangers D and lay up a beautiful backhand deke that Lundqvist manages to grab a piece of but on the ensuing blown clearing attempt Hyman manages to grab it back and wait out Lundqvist to make it 2-1, and we’re barely 6 minutes in. 4 minutes later on the power-play Jake Gardiner manages to do his best Bobby Orr impression as starting his own zone he splits the non-existent Ranger defense and roofs one on Lundqvist to make it 3-1 Leafs. 3 minutes later after an extended swarming of the Rangers in they’re own zone Nikita Zaitsev walks into to the top of the slot and snipes one short side on Lundqvist to make it 4-1 Leafs. 4 minutes after that after Zach Hyman fights of a pair of Rangers with his patented brand of intense forechecking the puck squirts out in front of the net and is tipped in by a Rangers d-man in what appeared to be originally credited to Nylander but given to Hyman after they released Willy never touched the puck. Finally on a late power-play Shattenkirk manages to fire through a screen past Freddy to make it 5-2 Leafs after 1 period of play.
So after that insanity in the first period you’d think things would calm down in the 2nd right? Nope, first Ondrej Pavelec comes in to replaced Lundvist to start the 2nd and the Rangers explode on offense. 8 minutes on on the power-play, a nice passing play up at the top of the zone leads Mika Zibanejad to be able to walk in to the left circle and roof one stick side on Anderson to make it 5-3 for the Leafs. 5 minutes later on a delayed leafs penalty, Mark Staal sneaks up to the front of the net and tips a point shot home to make it 5-4 and barely 60 seconds after that Zuccarello tips on a Marc Staal point shot that had to be reviewed to ensure it was under the cross bar but suddenly with 6 minutes left in the 2nd it’s 5-5 and that’s where we’d stay till the 3rd.
For the 3rd period nothing happens until 8 minutes in when JVR, slips one to Bozak who tips it home in front of the net to make it 6-5 for the Leafs. 2 minutes later on a Leafs power-play, Nylander roofs one on Pavelec but it turns out he hit the cross bar and out but Leo Komarov was there to bury the rebound and make it 7-5 for the Leafs. Finally with 2 minutes left Kadri and Marleau come in on the 2 on 2 and after Kadri dekes through Kevin Hayes he buries it blocker side on Pavelec to close out this wild, insane 8-5 win.