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Panthers send Maple Leafs on vacation in overtime

Winning in the first round doesn’t change the world…

There’s no “but”, no “except that”.

In the end, Toronto’s euphoria after the Maple Leafs eliminated the Lightning in the first round was short-lived. Although they managed to survive Game #4, the Leafs conceded a fourth win in five games to the Panthers, who thus advance to the Eastern Final.

This means that the Toronto organization still has only one win in 19 years, in the second round.

If they don’t lose in the first round again, this will be a cause for rejoicing for Canadiens fans and Leafs fans alike.

We can’t say they dropped the ball, forcing overtime in Game 5.

Toronto had to play catch-up field hockey for most of the game, as Aaron Ekblad opened the scoring 3 minutes 30 seconds into the first period.

Carter Verhaeghe’s fifth goal of the series (a rocket on a catch) didn’t help, late in the first twenty.

It was in the second period that Morgan Rielly brought his team back with a favorable leap in front of the net, but it’s another sequence that will be the talk of the town, and haunt the Maple Leafs in the wake of this elimination.

Rielly cut in front of the net and sent the puck under Sergei Bobrovsky’s pad, which appeared to have penetrated the net… without any concrete evidence.

There was no angle to confirm this, and the on-ice decision to disallow the goal was upheld after a lengthy review.

We agree that the puck was probably in the net. But not clearly enough. Hard to swallow for the Toronto players…

Fortunately for his team, the stars took matters into their own hands with 5 minutes left in the third period. Mitch Marner found William Nylander, who beat Sergei Bobrovsky over his shoulder to tie the game.

After a thrilling overtime period, a failed Leafs overtime leads to a Panthers overtime. The big Radko Gudas puts pressure on 3-on-2 and allows Nick Cousins to put an end to the debate and send his team to the Eastern Final.

So it’s an Eastern Final Panthers vs Hurricanes – the first time Florida has been there since 1996.

The Canadiens’ pick will be AT MINIMUM 29th

The bad news for the Habs is that the Panthers will be awarded the 29th pick, at minimum, in the upcoming draft. As of today, the CH’s pick is down 12 spots.

The pick will be 29th if they lose in the third round, 31st if they lose in the finals, and 32nd if they win.


– The end of Matthews in Toronto?

– Crazy.

– Headaches ahead.

– He was smoking.

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