If the Toronto Maple Leafs had capped off their road trip with a loss at Chicago, against the winless Blackhawks, a team missing their top scoring threat and mired in scandal, that could have been the impetus for change. But, the Maple Leafs got a goal from captain John Tavares and that started the rally.
Sure, it would seem early to make drastic changes but the vibes around the Leafs over the past week have been awful. When it was 2-0 for Chicago in the first period, it might have been interesting to see if Brendan Shanahan had any outgoing calls.
But give the Maple Leafs credit. They rallied from the 2-0 deficit to tie the game and force overtime, where William Nylander buried the winning goal, snapping a four-game winless slide.
“It wasn’t pretty,” said Maple Leafs centre John Tavares. “We’ve got a lot of things to work on and get better at, but anytime you can get two points on the road, especially with the way things are going for us, it’s a good character win today.”
“It’s time to wake up,” said William Nylander. “No feeling sorry for ourselves. Nobody’s going to get us out of this. It’s the guys in the locker room. We’re not playing to where we can play.”
“What was the score, 2-0,” Nylander continued. “To come back and win 3-2 in OT, I think that’s a good way to battle back when you’re going through a lot of adversity.”
With the Maple Leafs heading home for the next five games, they have a chance to build on this win and, if they do, there might come a time that the Maple Leafs look back on this October road win in Chicago and realize how vital it was to keeping this team on track.
To the takeaways…