Video: Leafs Beat The Best Team In The NHL 4-3 And Roman Polak Didn’t Manage To Fuck It Up. Win/Win
Source – “It’s a long time till the playoffs,” said Frederik Andersen, refusing to even contemplate what it might be like for his Toronto Maple Leafs to trade chances with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a best-of-seven series.
The thought seemingly hadn’t crossed his mind.
He might be the only one inside Air Canada Centre who could claim that Monday after a lightning-fast, star-studded, back-and-forth 60 minutes between two of the top teams in hockey.
“Obviously, we’re a way better team than last year,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock concluded after a 4-3 victory. “We play better each night because we have to. Because the opponent plays way better against us.”
They are 8-1-0 since Babcock reimagined his lineup and built four forward lines that he’s comfortable rolling at even strength. It’s a formidable group that poses challenges even for a team as loaded as the Lightning.
“I thought we skated really well and put pressure on their ‘D’ and didn’t give their good players too much time and space,” said Matthews.
“I think we’re skating,” added Andersen, who stopped 31 shots. “I think we’re playing our game and coming back [on defence]. Especially in the first period, we were coming back and pressuring them from behind when they had the puck coming into our end. Everyone knows when we play fast and skate a lot we move the puck quick.
Blah Blah Blah, Freddy Andersen. That’s it. Leafs were outplayed, and Freddy Andersen should just be Given The Vezina now.
Nylander buried 2 and added an apple and Matthews had three assists But Freddy is the one consistent in the leafs battling for home ice in the playoffs. He’s comfortable and you can see it because he rarely has to scramble and makes 12 bells stops look routine because he’s never out of position. Ever.
— Kris Abbott (@EastlinkKris) February 7, 2017
Show me a contender and I’ll bet their goalie is the best player on the team and that has to be the case.
Over their last 8, The Leafs are 6-2 and they haven’t outshot their opponent once which says a couple things.
- Fredrick is the spine of this team and any chance the Leafs have in the playoffs begin and end in net.
- The kids don’t need as many chances. Like Bruce Lee’s 1 inch death bunch, with Nylander, Matthews, and Marner don’t need much daylight to make a difference.
- Leafs need a puck moving D-Man that gives a shit about getting back. Maybe two.
It makes the trade deadline in Toronto the most interesting in years.