WINNIPEG—Look, it’s just one game. Yes, the Leafs went up 6-0 before the poor Winnipeg Jets got on the board. Yes, Winnipeg came into the NHL season opener with so much hope: they had just re-signed 21-year-old star forward Nikolaj Ehlers to a seven-year, $42-million (U.S.) contract on Wednesday morning, and they talked about how they were on the rise. There were banners outside that said that and everything.
And then the Leafs hung a touchdown on them, to start. Maybe the real trick to not blowing leads is to pile those leads a mile high. It was a weird, disjointed, 7-2 evisceration.
“The first period was not great,” Leafs defenceman Ron Hainsey said. “We were kind of surviving with a little bit of luck and our goaltender. We got better, though.”