Hello, Liam Foudy.
With the Blue Jackets clinging to a 1-0 lead halfway through the third period of Game 5, it felt like a when, not if, the Maple Leafs would tie the game — especially given what happened in Game 4.
Gustav Nyquist dumped in, then dashed to the bench for a change. Foudy saw the opportunity to control the puck in the corner, and the Maple Leafs were slow to react.
Talk about manufacturing something out of nothing. With practically no angle, Foudy banked in a shot off of Frederik Andersen to give the Blue Jackets some breathing room that they desperately needed. The crafty forward looked off Andersen before burying the puck.
It was the rookie's first NHL and postseason goal, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Blue Jackets. Although it was his first tally of the series, Foudy was dynamic for all five games and was one of the best forwards all series. In Game 5, Foudy registered a goal, three shots on goal, two blocked shots, and 17:32 of ice time.
"It’s something I’ll never forget and (it) was a special moment."– Liam Foudy on his goal against the Maple Leafs
Foudy, who grew up as a Maple Leafs fan, couldn't have been more ecstatic to nab his first goal against Toronto.
"Growing up being a huge Leafs fan, always rooting for them, to be able to come here and play in a series against them and beat them and score my first NHL goal, it’s something I’ll never forget and was a special moment," said Foudy after Game 5.
Head coach John Tortorella also had some words of praise for the 20-year-old, and they were just about the highest praise that Tortorella gives anyone.
"He's got balls."— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) August 10, 2020
John Tortorella praising (?) the play of Liam Foudy #CBJ
Talk about an eloquent man.
In all seriousness, Foudy's goal was backbreaking for the Maple Leafs in a period in which they had completely dominated the Blue Jackets. Despite the run of play, Foudy stepped up in a huge moment for both him and the club.
There were questions of Foudy's readiness for the NHL, and I think it's safe to say those have been answered. With his speed, craftiness, and 101% effort every time he's on the ice, he's likely to have a lengthy and successful NHL career.