After the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers upset the Boston Bruins, it seemed like destiny was finally going to come true in Toronto.
But in the words of Sean McIndoe of The Athletic, “So after five playoff years of the Leafs always finding a way to lose one more game than they won, their breakthrough postseason ends with… them losing one more game than they won.”
A big part of the narrative coming out of Game 5 on Friday night wasn’t the fact that Auston Matthews didn’t have a goal in the series but that Toronto was robbed. Robbed, they say.
Here’s the thing though, the hockey gods don’t forget.
Lightning strikes twice
The first big controversy came late in the second period when Morgan Riley thought he had jammed the puck home to tie the game. Screen grabs clearly showed the puck over the line, and it’s the crooked NHL having it out for Toronto to disallow the goal.
Just a few problems here for Toronto. The first of which is known as the parallax angle, which creates the optical illusion that the puck for sure crossed the line. Essentially, the red line on the ice isn’t directly on the ice, it’s slightly under, and depending on your angle, it can look like the puck crossed when it hadn’t.
Two, even if the puck were across the goal would have been challenged by Florida as disallowed anyway because Riley clearly pushed the pad of Sergei Bobrovsky to push the puck “in.”
Three, the hockey gods don’t forget.
Remember when Brayden Point had the puck actually enter the net, but because the ref had “lost sight of it” the whistle was blown early, and the goal didn’t count?
Not so much fun when it’s against you, is it Toronto?
Then, shortly before the end of the third period, with overtime in sight, Florida’s Marc Staal caught Mitch Marner up high with an elbow. To be fair, this should have been a penalty, and Toronto should have gone into overtime with a power play.
I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending.
How quickly Toronto fans forget that in the dying seconds of the third period of Game 6, Brandon Hagel was hit with a high stick. No call was made, and Toronto ended up winning shortly into overtime.
Toronto fans may forget, but the hockey gods never forget.