Take that Long Island. Leafs Nation was loud and proud Saturday night against their QEW rivals as the game hadn’t even started yet and they let John Tavares feel the love. Not often do you see a player give the salute to the crowd three times before the opening faceoff, good for Johnny Toronto. He deserved every second of the passionate pregame standing ovation after Islander fans booed during his tribute video which included his time spent with sick children in hospitals. The Maple Leafs went out of their way to change the ‘normal’ order of player introductions, resulting in Tavares receiving the final and of course loudest ovation. Classy move by what’s turning out to be a Team Operations powerhouse organization.
To the game, which was full of random quirky moments. From weird hops and challengable goals to Nic Petan beauty finishes and Martin Marincin dangles, this game had it all. Not to mention Andreas Johnsson thought he scored twice throughout the game and neither was behind the line.
Here's that Marincin play from earlier. No idea where that came from. pic.twitter.com/iGnRHBg2b1
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) March 3, 2019
Timing is everything – Kyle Dubas trades Par Lindholm who hadn’t scored in a Trimester and sure enough neither had Nic Petan as he’s been blanked in his 13 games with the Jets this season, but wouldn’t you know it, fan favourite Trevor Moore with a lovely dish to Petan who leaned on one. 130 plus points in junior, Petan grew up lighting lamps.
Kyle Dubas’s reaction to Nic Petan scoring in his first game as a Leaf pic.twitter.com/JB7QXjPCyG
— juno (@junotheleafs) March 3, 2019
Get a load of this – Johnny Toronto opened the scoring for the Buds which is something our pal Gerry Dee predicted before the opening draw.
And he will score!
— Gerry Dee (@gerrydee) March 1, 2019
No big deal. Gerry is touring, attending games and calling shots. He even has time to clap back a little bit when needed.
I have better grammar. pic.twitter.com/KvOQ6xeJk6
— Gerry Dee (@gerrydee) March 3, 2019
Well played sir, and the same can be said for the rest of Leafs Nation. Kudos to those who attended Saturday night, even though through most parts of the game we could hear people breathing. You hit Johnny in the feels and this should help him forget the awkward waves he had to give to the 7 people who were cheering him after his tribute video.
John Tavares received the ovation he deserved at Scotiabank Arena and I hope the Leafs even considered playing his tribute video for him during the first TV timeout. What a savage move that would have been as the Leafs could have one up’d Sean Avery’s rant for video of the week. We will let Sean have his moment, it will be soon forgotten. On the other hand, Leafs Nation provided Johnny Toronto a moment he’ll always remember. Right in the feels Leafs Nation, kudos to you, full of class.
“Definitely got some goosebumps” -John Tavares
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) March 3, 2019