A frustrating night to be sure if you watched either the Leafs 2-1 loss to Carolina or TFC’s 3-2 defeat in Montreal in the first leg of the MLS East final.
Watching TFC go down 3-0 early in the second half was not at all what I expected from this club, and it looked like disaster for a short time. But the goals from Altidore and Bradley within seven minutes gives them legitimate hope heading into next Wednesday’s rematch at BMo Field. Now, thanks to those two away goals, 1-0 or 2-1 victories will propel TFC into the MLS Cup. With a crowd I expect will border on berserk, and friendlier field conditions than the trampoline turf at Olympic Stadium, the opportunity is there for TFC’s taking.
Meanwhile, at the ACC, Auston Matthews goal drought extended to 13 despite the fact he was AGAIN the best Leaf player on the ice last night. Aside from he and Morgan Rielly, no other Leafs were noticeable. While Matthews is great with the puck, I think he needs to play more without it – I’m just not sure he has the linemates to do that. Perhaps putting him with JVR and Marner for a while might offer him more time and space? Also nice to see Freddie Andersen solid again last night. He held the Leafs in a game I felt they were (sadly) outplayed and outmuscled in. Hoping for a different outcome in New Jersey tonight.