Game 26: Never Surrender
If the Leafs continue to win as they did tonight, I'll be divorced before 2011.
Here are the words and sounds that came hurtling out of my mouth starting at 4:16 of the third when those magnificent Leaf bastards embarked upon their biggest comeback of the season: "GRABBO!!! YEAAHHH!!!" "TIMMY BRENT!!! BOOYAAAH!!!" "MACARTHUR!!! EEEEE—!!!" (I momentarily lost my voice on that last one.)
"Woman, I don't care!" I screamed, kicking over an ottoman and scaring the cats. "The Leafs tied it up in the third! They were losing 4-1 to Washington! FOUR-TO-ONE! We're going to overtime, baby! Come down here and high-five me!"
She left me hanging. But, whatever!
Jonas Gustavsson goosed Alex Ovechkin, Mathieu Perreault and Alexander Semin. He made them look like mannequins on skates. Meanwhile, Mikhail Grabovski scored on a spin-a-rama move so shockingly dazzling I went hoarse again while upending the coffee table and nearly driving my heels through the hardwood floors.
That was it. An improbable, come-from-behind 5-4 victory in Washington. A second consecutive win. The first road triumph in 9 games. And yet another reason to believe in this team despite everything we have endured since October.
People, I have nothing more to say right now. Nothing.
Well, just this: It would've been so easy for this team to quit. But they did not. It would've been so easy for this team to exhale loudly and shake their fists at the cosmos after trading scoring chances and territorial play with the Caps for two periods and then looking up at the scoreboard to see they were down by three.
But picking up where they left off on Saturday, the Leafs just kept plugging away. They refused to surrender. And now, well, now I have a bruise on my forearm. My throat feels like it's coated with sandpaper. And my glasses may be permanently scratched after I chucked them across the room with a happiness I can't adequately explain.
Bring on Pittsburgh and buckle-up. This ride ain't over yet.
GAME PHOTOS: REUTERS