If the Maple Leafs play many more games this season the way they played tonight’s matchup with the upstart oilers, then LeafsNation is in for one helluva ride this season, which should mean many many wins and not a lot of losses in the standings.
Plus, Sunday mornings are much better when the Leafs win!
Even Head Coach Randy Carlyle hinted at the possibility of another game so back-and-forth:
“I’m sure we’re going to see a few more games like this along the way!”
That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the kind of hockey you like.
Toronto did not have the lead tonight until it was the only thing that mattered: in overtime.
David Bolland came through again, in strikingly similar fashion as when he scored the final goal of the 2013 season about five months ago when he scored in OT to win the Stanley Cup.
Tonight, he did it for the Blue and White, and he did it in almost the same location on the ice.
It capped a see-saw battle between his Leafs and the Oilers, who had the lead four times throughout the game only to have Leafs come back each and every time.
Joffrey Lupul tallied with about 10 seconds left in the game and newly-acquired David Bolland did what he did in game 6 of the finals last year and score the GWG on the doorstep to cap the victory.
Carlyle seemed almost amused at the amount of mistakes made by both teams.
“It was a game of mistakes,” he said at the press conference. “And both teams capitalized on one another’s mistakes,” half-laughing at it.
In this game, a high-scoring affair which saw 11 goals, he added: “We made a mistake, it (the puck) ended up in the back of our net…they made a mistake, in ended up in the back of their net.”
In OT, it can go either way, but in this case, Leafs came out on top.
“The fortunate part for us is that we were on the right end of it.”
The scoring saw two goals per team in the first and third periods, and one apiece in the middle frame.
Bolland scored the GWG on a 3-on-1 passing play with Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner.
Carlyle suggested to the media that is likely won’t be the first time that Bolland is involved (or scores) the GWG.
“He has a history of scoring big goals,” says Carlyle, likely alluding to last June at the TD Garden, when he likely made a lot of Leaf supporters happy then, too.
Carlyle added that Bolland’s work ethic in practice tends to show through come crunch (game) time.
“He does every drill at the highest possible level,” Other guys tend to try and match him in that regard.
Bolland says he is bringing a little bit (or a lot) of that same character that the entire Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks had going for them.
“We have confidence, we just don’t give up,” said Bolland, who was acquired in a June trade. “In Chicago, when I was there, we’d be down 5-4 or 5-1 against teams and we knew we could come back. We have that feeling in the room. If we’re down, we can come back.”
Other scoring for Leafs saw Lupul and James van Riemsdyk (JVR) score twice in the win, and Nazem Kadri had the other goal, a beauty corner pick when there wasn’t much to shoot at on the far side.
Ryan Smyth had a pair of goals for the visitors
Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov, who has no points in four games, was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. Yakupov was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 NHL draft. … The Oilers have given up at least four goals in every game this season.
Leafs are now 2-0 on #HockeyNight, and both of those wins required extra time (OT and SO).
Next up is the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night at the ACC on Sportsnet-O