Brian Boyle is adjusting to his new role just fine, thank you very much. The forward was having a career year with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the team was scuffling without superstar Steven Stamkos, so they decided to sell of some pieces at the NHL Trade Deadline. The Toronto Maple Leafs must have been glad that they did, because Boyle did an impressive job setting up a goal for a victory in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

Setting up a winner

The game in Washington was more than halfway through the second overtime period when the Maple Leafs made their move.

Boyle obtained the puck and skated behind the opposing net when he swung an amazing no-look pass backwards, almost to the spot where he just was. Kasperi Kapanen took it from there as the Capitals scrambled to put a stop to the play - they were too late, as Kapanen put it into the back of the net for the victory.

Boyle was always destined to have an important role with the Maple Leafs. As a veteran being acquired midseason for the stretch run, the team knew that he would be one of the only players on the roster with any postseason experience, as the squad is led by multiple young stars. Everyone also knew about his abilities on penalty kills and faceoffs, along with his hulking size. Nobody, however, foresaw his passing prowess on the final play of Saturday's game.

Tying the series

Boyle did more than provide an incredible assist. He provided the Maple Leafs with an opportunity to return home with a series knotted at a game apiece. The team was supposed to simply be happy to be in the postseason at all, well ahead of their rebuilding schedule. Upsetting the top team in the NHL this season would be a major step towards legitimatizing the team's building process and plans for the future.

It would be a disaster, however, for the Washington Capitals, who have seen this script play out in the past. The team has developed a reputation of succumbing to the pressure when they enter the playoffs, no matter how prolific they were during the regular season. The team has yet to win a Stanley Cup and has only made it to that stage once in their history, nearly two decades ago.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs find a way to eliminate the Capitals before they can even make it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, it would be seen as an incredible failure for the league's best regular season team.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!