Did you watch that game on Saturday, the one with speed, three lead changes, an active crowd and to top it off, an overtime winner that left the Montreal Canadiens stunned on their bench? (See the reaction by Brendan Gallagher on the bench after the goal) That was the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadiens game that had it all and I want more.
This was the kind of game that when it was over I wanted four more periods of. But, I’d settle for a seven game series.
Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
In just a 3 hour span, Leafs and Habs twitter had at it. Attacking each other’s teams with various insults. I saw someone make fun of someone’s dog for being a Leafs fan. It was getting heated.
Being a Leafs fan, I dislike the Habs more than most people. In a season where the Leafs signed John Tavares, I’ve been able to rub that in all Habs fans’ faces. But, if they won that game they would have passed the Leafs in the standings and I probably would have some lovely DMs from Habs fans.
Yet, that wasn’t the case. Tavares delivered with the game-winning goal which brought balance to the galaxy.
The Hunger For A Habs-Leafs Series
Point being, whether you’re a fan of either team, watching these ancient rivals battle it out would be your chance to take the crown and have all the bragging rights. And even if you’re not, this would be a chance to watch two fan bases duel it out in a best of seven game series. With how these two clubs played on Saturday, there wasn’t a minute where I didn’t feel engaged. These two clubs played with heart and grit. They’d likely show the same display in a playoff series.
Unfortunately, if the season ended today, the Leafs would face the Boston Bruins in round one. I typed that sentence out and I felt sadness. Good thing that the NHL season doesn’t end today and the Habs are 7-1-2 in their last ten. I am not cheering for the Habs, But a matchup with the Canadiens is much more favourable for the Leafs. The Leafs have lost in game 7 to the Bruins in 2 of their last 3 playoff series. So Leafs fans, you might want to cheer for the Habs to keep winning. It might be the best chance they have to move on.
The Last Habs-Leafs Series
When was the last time the Leafs went against the Canadiens in the playoffs?
I’ll give you some hints. The price of gasoline in Canada was 86 cents a gallon, Lanny McDonald and Borje Salming were in their primes at the ages of 25 and 27 and the Montreal Canadiens were coming off of their 3rd straight Stanley Cup victory in 1978. (Spoiler Alert: They won that series and their 4th cup in a row) For two teams that haven’t gone against each other in the playoffs despite being in the same division since 1998, it’s crazy that matchup hasn’t happened yet.
I’m Too Excited
Maybe I am getting too excited over one game. Maybe if the Leafs go against the Habs in the playoffs it’ll be a boring coaches duel and each game will just be a slog to watch. Or it’ll be the reignite of one of the greatest rivalries in sports. So, I’ll root for the Habs to finish the season strong, I guess.
featured image photo credit – Josh Tessler