Maple Leafs Overtime Heroes is an ongoing series where we'll look back at memorable Leaf playoff overtime goals. Today's goal is Gary Roberts' triple overtime winner against the Senators in game two of their 2002 playoff series.
In the opening game of their 2002 second round series, the Ottawa Senators handed the Maple Leafs their most lopsided playoff loss of the modern era.
Oh sure, there have been games with a bigger margin of victory than that night's 5-0 Sens win. But anyone who saw the game would know that it could have been much worse. The Senators scored all five goals by the midway mark of the second period, and then shut it down. If they'd wanted to, they could have won 10-0 that night. It was that bad.
So heading into game two, the Leafs were already facing a must-win. With a long list of injured players that included captain Mats Sundin, it would have been all but impossible for Toronto to come back from a 2-0 series deficit. After all, they would be playing the next two games in Ottawa in front of 19,000 rabid fans, almost half of whom would have been cheering for the Senators.
No momentum. No captain. No hope. And no choice but to find some way, any way, to win.
Hmm... what would Gary do?
Let's review the tape:
Not much to talk about here, since the goal takes exactly two seconds. Let's just saw it's awful, and move on to everything that happens after.
Patrick Lalime's reaction
When we looked at the Mike Foligno overtime goal, I credited Tim Cheveldae with one of the great overtime "losing goaltender sprint off the ice" moves of all-time.
If you've ever wondered why goalies do that, here's Patrick Lalime to show you the alternative. As soon as the goal goes in, he does everything short of put a gun in his mouth.
Now I always thought Lalime got a bad rap from Ottawa fans, since we would have need a GAA of -1.00 to outduel Curtis Joseph or Eddie Belfour. But dear lord, Patrick, pull yourself together and get off the ice. The Sens were a young team, and nothing says "we don't really think we can win" like a goaltender who responds to one bad goal like my two-year-old realizing the Dora DVD has ended.
Of course, Lalime would later top himself in game seven of the 2004 series when he reacted to Joe Nieuwendyk's second goal by slumping to his knees, screaming something, then crawling over the zamboni and wrapping his lips around the tailpipe.
ever put up their nose
The clearcut highlight of the entire video is the shot at 0:30 of Wade Redden sitting on the bench with his finger up his nose, reacting to the goal by saying something that looks vaguely like "that's freaking great". Don't read lips, kids!
By the way, "Wade Redden sitting on the bench with his finger up his nose" was the title of the New York Rangers 2008-09 year in review DVD.
Ken Dryden clapping
I need to get this off my chest: What the hell was the deal with the way Ken Dryden clapped? This always bothered me. It was always the same: angry face, way too much intensity, hands held uncomfortably high, and just slamming his palms together with no coordination at all.
How is it possible to look so uncool when you're clapping? Are we sure this guy was one of the greatest players of his generation? Is it possible he died in 1999 and the Leafs replaced him in the press box with a badly made life-sized puppet?
I don't even have a punchline.
But I do have questions, such as: Where did he get that jacket? Is there some sort of "custom made novelty leather jacket" store that only rich people have access to? Has anyone other than Rod Bryden and Michael Jackson ever appeared in public wearing a bright red leather jacket? And where is that jacket now, is it for sale, and how much do you want for it?
Wait, is that Walter Gretzky appearing for a brief moment in a crowd shot? This guy is practically hockey royalty. Quick, everyone be on their best behavior! And for god's sake, don't let the mascot try to hump anything!
Carlton the Beat humping the glass
Yes, OK, so Carlton humps the glass at 2:00. Look folks, he's a bear. He has instincts. If you're going to hire a bear to be part of your game day marketing staff, this is just part of the deal. If the Leafs didn't think that was acceptable behavior, they shouldn't have let him walk around wearing a jersey and no pants.
The Most Obscure Guy in the Pile
I'm launching a new feature: "The Most Obscure Guy in the Pile", where we look at famous celebrations and try to pick out the most insignificant player involved.
Our inaugural winner is... Anders Eriksson! He's the guy wearing #44 and giving Roberts an extended head rub. This completely useless defenceman played 38 career games for the Leafs, recorded no goals and two assists, was once traded for Chris Chelios, and recently won the coveted "Most Swedish Name of All-time" award. There's at least a 90% chance that Roberts has no idea who he is.
Congratulations, Anders! Now get off the ice. And, um, you may not want to brush up against the glass on your way out.