Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens @ Bell Centre
4-5 Final S/O
Two teams. One Original Six rivalry. It's the best one out there. It's rooted in our history and culture. It is how we live our lives. It's Toronto in Montreal and we're about to rain the jeers!!
Mike Komisarek and Mikhail Grabovski make their return to Montreal. Vesa Toskala is in net after 19 days of no game action. Matt D'Agostini is in the hospital being treated for concussion like symptoms after suffering an elbow from Andrew Ladd.
Ron Wilson puts both Grabovski and Komisarek in the starting ling to get the 'boo's and jeers over with. I thought that was a pretty smart move on his part so the butterflies can go away.
Second period was pretty much how we expected this game to go from the beginning. The moment that clock started ticking down the minutes, the rivalry air picked up.
For the first time in the season, Toronto get the first goal of a game! On the 4-on-3, Alexei Ponikarovsky can properly brag that he was the first one to get Toronto's first goal of the game, of the season (if that made any sense). But we answer right back. Glen Metropolit with the bad angle shot levels the ice at 1 a-piece. It was pretty incredible that the goal even made it in. Toskala was in the stand-up position and the puck went over his chest and into the back of the net. Pretty interesting.
We'd be going to the bank tonight! Maxim Lapierre created a Toronto turnover and brought the puck down to change the flow of motion. He'd make the quick pass to Tomas Plekanec and he'd try to bury it in. Plekanec was stopped by Toskala's pads but one rebound was picked up by Guillaume Latendresse and he was able to bank it in behind Toskala.
Our third of the night was an ugly one. Hal Gill made the slapper up at the blue and it looked like Cammalleri got a touch on it but just provided enough traffic in front of the net to throw Toskala and the Leafs' defence off. Once the goal-horn rang in le Centre Bell, the Leaf that Cammalleri was entangled with started pushing him around thinking he got the tip-in goal. Hal Gill and the rest of the two teams joined in coming to each other's defence. Gill not only would get the goal, but also the penalty and head towards the sin bin.
On the insuating PP, Lee Stepniak would score to bring Toronto within one and finish the middle period with the 2-3 scoreline.
10 seconds before we could declare the half-way point of the final 20, Roman Hamrlik would get the tip-in goal for les Canadiens. About 3 seconds after Komi came out of the penalty box, Scott Gomez kept the play alive for the French club and shot the puck. Hammer was just in the luckiest of places as the puck hit his shin pads and in.
Toronto would not like the two-goal deficit with their arch-rivals and would cut that trail down to one again with a goal from Ponikarvosky again! Ian White with the nice cross-ice pass, he creates the chance for Ponikarovsky's and his shot bounced off of Halak's chest and into the net.
Toskala headed for the bench for the extra attacker and with the 6th man, they'd push for the extra point with a goal from Tomas Kaberle.
In the shoot-out, Mike Cammalleri went first and with his shot, he goes up and high on Toskala for the early lead. Scott Gomez would do the same thing with his puck as he basically gurantees us our win. Halak would stop Toronto's two shooters and we walk away with the extra point as Toronto leafs la Belle Province.
It wasn't a bad game, but it was a great game. It was just pretty damn good. A rivalry would spark anyone up and not performing well would not be worth HNIC. Komi leaves his old home after being rained on with boo's and a minus-3 rating.
(1) Tomas Kaberle
(2) Tomas Plekanec
(3) Michael Cammalleri
Komi and Max get reaquainted.
We love him, but only in Montreal will you boo those who betray us.
It wasn't all bad for the Leafs though.
Credits for images go to Daylife.