Wow- what a change in events the last 5 minutes can make. The first 55 were BRUTAL. It was like a morgue in the ACC. Neither team looked like they wanted to be there. The highlight of the game was a fan answering a trivia question correctly earning all in attendance a free Big Mac tomorrow (seriously, it was the talk of the 2nd intermission). Then the Buds scored to go up 2-1 and all hell broke loose (not lose!). The Caps scored a late goal Gerber went nuts, iced the puck long after the whistle and got tossed. Enter Curtis Joseph who had been sitting on the bench suffering through the same brutal display of hockey the rest of us had been watching. Ovechkin, Semin and Green peppered Cujo with point blank shots and the Buds got a late penalty as well that they had to kill. After each save the place went nuts, with louder cheers of CUJO CUJO ringing down on the veteran goalie. Brad May nearly lept off the bench with excitement after each save and was standing when Cujo game to the bench after time expired in the 3rd period. Cujo stood on his head for the OT as well and held the Caps goalless in the shootout as well.
Besides the Big Mac promotion, major kudos to both the Leafs, Capitals and the fans who gave a teary eyed Canadian Soldier the standing ovation he deserved when recognized by Andy Frost on the PA. It was quite amazing to see the entire Leaf bench shoot up and start slamming their sticks in addition to the Capitals players too. The fans cheered on the guy as he sat, in uniform with this significant other in what looked like disbelief at the tribute. The ovation lasted over a minute for the decorated soldier who just returned from his 2nd tour of duty in Afghanistan. The hell with cheering Mats Sundin. Toronto (players and fans) you did right tonight!
Of course the debate will rage tomorrow about Curtis Joseph and his future with the Leafs and in the league. While I would be stunned if he were to return as a player, I would be more stunned if he played elsewhere. If this is goodbye, what a great way to go out. His entire team mobbing him, the place chanting his name and earning the first star. Cujo, for a man who played less then 8 minutes, this was your night, you earned it.
Here are some photos from in-between OT and the shootout:
Here is the video of Alexander Ovechkin’s shootout attempt on Cujo: