White’s late goal holds up as game-winner – finally!
Ian White now has eight goals on his season and Is well on pace to shatter his career mark of 10, which he set last season. His point shot that eluded Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury with 1:22 remaining in the third period gave the Leafs a 4-3 win as White notched his first game-winning goal of the year.
White was less than 3 seconds away from his first game-winner of the season when he scored with under a half-minute to play in Toronto’s game in Carolina on November 19. It appeared to be sweet redemption for the blueliner, who took a double minor penalty after being identified as the player who high-sticked the Hurricanes Stephane Yelle. In fact, it was the stick of Yelle’s teammate Tom Kotsopoulos that accidentally drew blood on the play. Carolina’s ensuing power-play goal tied the game, only to have White appear to lift the burden of the incorrect call with his late goal.
Sadly for the Leafs, karma did not prevail on this night as Eric Cole tied the game at the 19:57 mark of the third period. Carolina went on to win in a shootout 6-5.
Good for White, to finally bag a game-winner on Sunday.
Speaking of White’s goal, did anyone catch a clip of Ron Wilson’s description of the play, after the game? “Whitey made a great shot. It was a great play all around by Blakey keeping pucks alive, and Stempy made a great pass out to Beauch. ”
Not that this is Wilson’s fault, but hearing four uncreative hockey nicknames in the same sentence leaves fans to yearn for the days when players like Johnny “The China Wall” Bower, Dave “Tiger” Williams and Doug “Killer” Gilmour suited up for the Leafs. Perhaps someday, hockey culture will revert to developing nicknames by a process more involved than simply adding a ‘y’ to a player’s last name.
In the meantime, I guess Leafs fans can be thankful for Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson.
This Day In History: 30 years ago today, on December 29, 1979. Leafs general manager Punch Imlach began dismantling the team by trading Lanny McDonald to the Colorado Rockies. McDonald, an All-Star and perfect complement to best friend Darryl Sittler, was dispatched along with Joel Quenneville in exchange for Wilf Paiement and Pat Hickey.
The deal came as a retaliatory measure against Sittler, with whom Imlach feuded, but could not trade because of a no-trade clause in the Leaf captain’s contract. Within weeks, Sittler’s best friends on the team including Williams, and Pat Boutette, would also be dealt out of Toronto.
The trade was the precursor to a decade of futility for the Leafs franchise under team owner Harold Ballard. McDonald would go on to cap his NHL career by winning a Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989.
Rob Del Mundo is the author of Blue And White Beat, and is a regular columnist at TMLfans.ca
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