What a game.
One thing that occurs to me is that if the Vesa had been in net, none of the drama that we saw at the end of the game would have happened. I don't think that Toskala would ever have reacted the way Martin Gerber did after the second Washington goal. I liked that Gerber showed some emotion and frustration. That's the way it supposed to be. You don't have to go crazy like Eddie. Cujo would get mad. Felix would get mad. I want a goaltender that gets pissed off when the Leafs are getting screwed.
This game, and specifically the dirty goal at the end of the 3rd, reminded me of a game from last year around this time when the Leafs thought they were still in a playoff race. The Leafs lost to the Devils, 2-1, March the 8th, on a suspiciously familiar play. Check out the video of the game here and fast forward to (3:45) and you'll see Zach Parise pitchfork Toskala into the net for the game winning goal with less then a minute to go.
Brutal. Total garbage. And yet, the Leafs, and the Vesa, sat there and took it. "This one hurts for sure", said Sundin with a sigh. A sigh! I got so sick of that heavy sigh. I got so bored of Paul Maurice's scrunched up puzzled concern. Doesn't he know what's going on? The Leafs are getting screwed!
Here's Gereber last night. The Capitals' tying goal is disturbingly similar to Parise's, but Gerber's reaction is a refreshing blast of emotion not seen by a Leaf netminder since well before Red-light Raycrap came to town.
Gerber was furious and he had every right to be. I'm not sure he expressed himself in the right way, but he had the right feeling and he directed it at the right person. Just wanted to point that out and salute Gerber's 34 (shoulda' been 35) save effort. Cujo became the star of the night and received a tremendous ovation for his thrilling performance, but it was Gerber whose raw emotion set the stage for the incredible drama that unfolded in the final act.
Way to go, Cujo. 9 saves, 8 of them in overtime, and the game's first star. What a fantastic finish.
As a final thought, I hope the Leafs start pitchforking opposing goalies into their nets more often since that's obviously an acceptable strategy.