The Leafs are back.
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in overtime for their first win of the season on Wednesday.
This was the Leafs first game since August 9 when they lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the qualifying round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It was also their first regular season win in over 10th months, when they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on March 10 — before the world shut down.
So yeah, the 748th meeting between these two original six teams meant just a little bit more. And the rivalry always carries an extra sense of hostility.
However, the Leafs looked very lazy for the first part of this game. They let Montreal win many puck battles, and the Habs took a three to one lead on the Leafs midway through the second period.
Things changed when new Maple Leaf Wayne Simmonds and Ben Chiarot fought. After the fight, Simmonds gestured to the bench to motivate the team which Leafs star forward William Nylander called the “turning point” in the win.
Wayne Simmonds dummies Ben Chiarot. pic.twitter.com/hlYLmG5o3V
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) January 14, 2021
From that point on, the Leafs were able to outscore the Habs 4-1 to come back and take this game from their longtime rival.
The buds were led by Nylander and Captain John Tavares, who each had three points to lead the team to victory. After the win, it’s safe to say that Leafs nation was very happy about the start for the blue and white.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 14, 2021
Put a much needed smile on my face tonight. Thanks @MapleLeafs. Welcome back. Thanks for the win.
— Michael Mullett (@GOMULLETT704) January 14, 2021
Feels like forever since I could say this, but Leafs win! Leafs win! Leafs win! pic.twitter.com/3VevrCoShq
— Canadian Dragon (@majingir) January 14, 2021
First game, and first win of the season. Go Leafs Go! pic.twitter.com/GQW30ddwcr
— Mason Carr (@masoncarr5) January 14, 2021
LEAFS WIN, great night in hockey, LEAFS FOREVER💙👏🏻👏🏻💙let’s all drink GATORADE ,😀😊
— M (@Sunrise31064) January 14, 2021
That was a fun game to watch for sure nice come back boys 💙🤍 #leafsforever
— Steven Ireland (@leafsfan3143) January 14, 2021
Can we start planning the parade route?
— Robin Harris (@RAH_NYC) January 14, 2021
How do I save this forever
— Laureninthecity (@Laureninthecit1) January 14, 2021
SUCK ON THAT ONE MONTREAL 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁 pic.twitter.com/X2fid7fJIy
— 🍁 • Elio • 🍁 (@Canuck_Grump) January 14, 2021
— Steve “Dangle” Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) January 14, 2021