The Toronto Maple Leafs were left stunned after dropping a 4-1 lead late in Game 7.
The Boston Bruins have earned the right to celebrate after the spectacular comeback they managed tonight, but Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien wanted to take a moment to praise his fallen adversaries.
“You can’t walk away from here without giving the other team credit,” Julien said, according to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle. “They had us on the ropes… I know they’ll grow from that.”
Julien speaks from experience when he says that. The Boston Bruins have lost more than their fair share of Game 7s over the past few years, including their 2010 collapse to the Philadelphia Flyers after taking a 3-0 series lead.
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ fall might not be historic like that Bruins-Flyers series, but that’s probably not much of a consolation for the young Leafs.
“We’re glad we got rid of them because they just kept getting better and better,” Julien noted.
So maybe there’s a silver lining for the Maple Leafs, even if they likely don’t want to think about that right now.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: