The Toronto Maple Leafs did what they had to do in Game 2 versus the Boston Bruins, bouncing back from a rough return to the postseason in Game 1 to tie the first-round series. Their 4-2 Game 2 win was the result of an extraordinary team effort.
But there were also some extraordinary individual efforts, most notably James Van Riemsdyk giving his all to make sure this puck wound up in the net. Here's your play of the game:
We'd be remiss if we didn't also give credit to Mikhail Grabovski's play, cutting into the middle, confounding the Boston defence and leaving Van Riemsdyk open in front for the pass. But there's no way the setup man is going to be the star on this goal. Van Riemsdyk straight-up wills this puck into the net.
Not literally, mind you, since you can't propel a puck into the goal with an abstract concept.
But still, this is quite the battle from Van Riemsdyk. Originally, it appears that he's trying to go through his legs, but when that doesn't work and he begins to lose his balance, he swivels in a hurry and manages to throw the puck towards the goal, banking it in off of Tuukka Rask's skate.
It was the most compelling fall since Paradise Lost.
It was the insurance goal the Maple Leafs were desperate for as they attempted to guide home a lead late in the game.
It was also one final sign that, despite a quiet Game 1, the Leafs' stars have arrived in this series. Joffrey Lupul scored twice for Toronto. Their other goal, the game-winner at that, was scored by... wait for it... Phil Kessel.
It was Kessel's first even-strength goal in 24 games versus the Bruins. We'll hazard a guess that it felt pretty great.
Though not as great as going back to Toronto with the series tied at 1.Read More »from James Van Riemsdyk scores incredible goal to ice Game 2 for Leafs (Video)