It’s OK, Leafs Nation. It’s January 2014, and not May of the previous year. You can forget about Game 7, at least for a little while.
You cringed a little bit as the Leafs, on the strength of a pair of Tyler Bozak goals, carried a 4-2 lead into the third period.
Twitter exploded with “cue the comeback” jokes. After all, wasn’t the scenario almost identical to the infamous May 13 deciding game that has given many of us post traumatic stress disorder? Couldn’t the hockey gods that hate Toronto at least have made the score different?
Admittedly, after Boston’s Gregory Campbell made it 4-3, I made a bold prediction that Patrice Bergeron would score both the tying and overtime winning goals for Beantown. Just because life, like me, has a sick sense of humour.
But seemingly miraculously, even as James van Riemsdyk missed an empty net after the officials missed several tripping infractions, the Leafs preserved the lead.
A regulation road win, their first since October 30.
Their third regulation win overall in the past 27 games.
And a temporary suspension of the memory of Matt Frattin’s missed breakaway that preceded Bergeron’s heroics, eight months ago.
Breathe a little. Check your blood pressure. And chirp back a little bit at your friends who are Bruins fans.
Make no mistake, the playoff choke still sucks.
But for the moment, a bit of redemption has been gained.