Have I ever mention how much I love playoff hockey? For the Toronto Maple Leafs their backs were against the wall down 3 games to 1, facing elimination in Boston and the Leafs didn’t disappoint. The Leafs played arguably their best game of the playoffs and live to play another day against the Boston Bruins.
Coming into this game all the talk was about James Reimer and how he hadn’t been playing well. You even heard speculation in Toronto today that the Leafs should pursue Luongo this offseason since Reimer hasn’t been the goalie everyone expected him to be. Give the kid a break! He’s young and this is his first NHL playoff experience, he has to learn and develop. With that being said I wrote before the game that people need to just let Reimer play and perhaps that was foreshadowing as tonight was Reimer’s best game.
- The Leafs seem to play their best when they’re down and out. After dropping the first game in Boston, the Leafs came out strong in game two and stole a game from Boston. After dropping two games at home and on the brink of elimination the Leafs came out flying in game 5. You hate to say that a team deserved a win but tonight the Leafs deserved the win and as a result force a game 6 back in Toronto on Sunday. 5 of the Leafs last 7 playoff series (back to 2001) have gone to 7 games, will they continue the trend?
- The Boston Bruins did not have a good game tonight, heck they were brutal for the first 40 minutes. Not sure if they were relying on Tuukka Rask and hoping to beat Reimer and sneak out the victory, but they didn’t show up. Heck for most of the first two periods they weren’t even playing physical, the Leafs were out-hitting them and the Bruins were the ones lying on the ice. The Bruins did show up for the 3rd period and broke Reimer’s shutout, but in the end their slow start cost them. Good news for Bruins’ fans, this game will serve as a wake-up call for the Bruins and they likely wont pass up a second opportunity to eliminate the Leafs.
- As mentioned above James Reimer played very well tonight. In fact he played fantastic, he stood on his head and made many big
time saves. I’m sorry where’s everyone saying Reimer can’t compete? One of Reimer’s best saves was a point blank shot on Patrice Bergeron. After the save the Leafs were able to get on the board. Perfect example of a big save at one end and a big goal at the other. Ladies and gentleman it appears James Reimer has arrived in the playoffs, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Leafs.
- How about Clarke MacArthur? The winger has two goals in his last two games, including the game-winner in game 5. With the Leafs getting production from their secondary scorers like Tyler Bozak and MacArthur only good things cane happen.
- This was one of the most exciting games I’ve seen all playoffs. This was two teams who knew what was at stake and traded chances throughout the night. Both goalies had stellar games but for the first time this series Reimer out-dueled Rask and the Leafs were able to solve the Bruins goalie.
The Leafs never seem to make anything easy. Game 6 will go Sunday evening back in Toronto as James Reimer and the Leafs will once again try and avoid elimination. I predicted the Bruins in 6… will I be right?