Game 17: Don't look now... THEY'RE ALIVE!
In the future, if I ever have grandchildren, they will hear about tonight:
"It was Tuesday, November 16, 2010. I witnessed a zombie uprising. Dressed in blue shirts, seemingly buried and gone, this army of undead fiends clawed through the dirt and back into my heart."
People, what just happened? I'm still twitching. What did we just watch? I swear to God, if Ashton Kutcher is hiding behind my couch and getting ready to Punk me, there will be hell to pay.
The early parts are fuzzy but here's what I seem to remember:
Nashville was winning 4-1 at 4:41 of the second period. The ACC, never a boisterous place at the best of times, was downright funereal. Ron Wilson, never a smiley fellow at the best of times, looked like a man who had spent his entire life calculating pi only to discover he made a mistake on Day 3.
The Leafs were giving away the puck the way fringe religious groups give away pamphlets outside the Eaton Centre. Mikhail Grabovski appeared to be either, a) in the midst of a total mental breakdown or, b) playing for the Predators without telling anyone. Brett Lebda was doing the breaststroke at the blue line instead of corralling the puck, which led to a shorthanded goal. J.S. Giguere was getting razzed.
The situation was so dire that I nearly called 411 to track down Dion Phaneuf.
Brrring. Brrring. Brrring.
"Dion? I hope your leg is feeling a bit better. But, listen. This is urgent. You need to get down to the ACC right away. You need to firmly grip one of your crutches and start whacking your teammates upside their muddled heads."
Then without any warning… the zombie uprising!
The Leafs scored four unanswered goals. Correction: The Leafs scored four unanswered power play goals. And just like that, instead of forgetting the first half of the game, I couldn't remember the eight game losing streak that preceded it.
It was a surreal sight, this zombie uprising.
The crowd erupted into a Standing Dazed Ovation. Every single player on the Predators’ bench looked like his jock was suddenly soaked with Tabasco Sauce. And one can only imagine the high-priority emails that suddenly boomeranged inside the bowels of VTech Canada: "ARE YOU WATCHING THIS HOCKEY GAME? IT'S INSANE! WE’RE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT AFTER GIVING AWAY ALL THESE POWER PLAY PRIZE PACKS!"
The Leafs won 5-4? Really? This is what you're telling me?
Versteeg scored two goals in less than a minute? Clarke MacArthur recorded three assists in one period? Nikolai Kulemin scored his fifth goal of the season? The mighty Luke Schenn pulled a Bobby Orr, deked a defender and banked one off the inside post for his first of the year? This is what happened tonight?
People, I am going outside to strip off my clothes and dance in the rain. And if I see any of these magnificent zombies, I will rip out my brain and let them feast until sunrise. This is how grateful I am for tonight's win.
In the immortal words of Bob Cole: "This has been an unbelievable turn of events!"
PHOTO: I HAVE NO IDEA... THE LEAFS WON 5-4, YO!