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Just When You Think The Maple Leafs Might've Turned A Corner, They Go Down 0-3 To The Panthers In A Gut-Wrenching OT Loss

Yeah so. That sucks for Toronto. Exorcising the demon that is the Tampa Bay Lightning, only to walk into a white-hot Panthers team who is just punishing the Leafs at every turn.

Actually that's not 100% accurate. What looked like a promising start in which the Leafs would go on the road and cut their series in half took a major turn for the worse. Ilya Samsonov got smoked by his own teammate in a friendly-fire collision that kept him out for the rest of the night.

This is the type of shit that makes Maple Leafs fans feel like they're cursed. You can't blame them.

Enter: Joseph Woll. Hell of a respectable regular season for the 24-year-old, who went 6-1 with a 2.16 GAA. With only 11 career NHL starts, though, it seemed like the moment was too big for him. Not to take anything away from what Florida did, or the gritty forechecking sequence and quick passing that led to Sam Reinhart's decisive goal.

HOWEVER. Woll's reaction time to that whole bitter end looked something like this:

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Seemed like he got lost in the bright lights of the playoff stage. Not easy playing in a hostile environment. No way Woll thought he'd be playing with Samsonov between the pipes. Alas, that's what can happen in the postseason. You need some luck on your side and good health to lift Lord Stanley's Cup. The Panthers won't apologize for capitalizing on the circumstances, though. To their credit, they got three pucks past Woll on 21 shots. Reinhart got him bad on that wraparound GWG.

But like come on. The Leafs can't catch a damn break. Sheesh. Samsonov hurt. A 0-3 hole. Looking pretty fucking bleak. The rich history of being an Original Six club lost its luster a long time ago. With the Bruins getting bounced in the first round, Toronto had a golden opportunity to go on a run and potentially make it out of the East.

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You know the line.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok