The Toronto Maple Leafs would’ve been embarrassed by the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the North Division playoff series if it wasn’t for goaltender Jack Campbell. He was nothing less them incredible in a 3-2 overtime loss. Without him, the game would’ve been over in the first few minutes of the first period. For the second game in a row, Toronto came out flat against a fired-up Montreal team.
Nick Foligno was asked to explain the slow start, and he was blunt in his response. “(I) can’t. It’s unacceptable this time of year, obviously.” Foligno, who returned to the lineup after missing two games, says the Canadiens showed the same type of jump in Game 5, and his team should’ve been ready. “It’s learning from that and understanding our starts are critical against this team. It gives them all the momentum. We need to be better in that area, and I think it bodes well for us in the whole game.” Foligno’s candid and straightforward critic of the performance continued. See it in this video:
Mitch Marner was asked if the crowd had any impact on the fast start by Montreal. There were 2,500 fans at the Bell Centre, the first time there have been fans at an NHL game in Canada in over 440 days. Marner said there was some impact, but he was also forthright in his observation of the start of the game. “Again, we just didn’t come ready to play at the start of the game. We say it too often. They had their chance at the start of the game. Soup (Jack Campbell) was huge for us as usual, we just got to make sure that we do start on time because it’s getting said a lot, and it is not good enough.”
No Excuse in Game 7
The old saying: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me fool me. Toronto was caught off guard in Game 5 by the energy and desperation of the Canadiens – they got fooled. But there was no excuse to have it happen twice. Now Toronto will be going with another saying: third time is the charm. As they will look to close the series for the third time on Monday night.
Kevin Armstrong is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience. He’s been rink side for World Juniors, Memorial Cups, Calder Cups and Stanley Cups. Like many Canadian kids, his earliest memories include hockey. Kevin has spent countless hours in arenas throughout the country watching all levels of the game.