It couldn’t be any more sweeter for the 25-year-old whose family and friends especially his grand mom made it to the stadium. “It was a special night,” said Nylander on the special night. Being the most humblest, he also stated that he could’ve scored more goals into the empty net.
Toronto Maple Leafs edged past Detroit Red Wings 3-2. John Tavares scored the game winner at 14:27 of the third period. Lucas Raymond and Daniel Sprong scored the two goals for the Red Wings.
Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves at a save percentage of .931.
Nylander also extended his point-streak to 16 games. He is the eleventh in the longest season-opening point streaks. Wayne Gretzky holds the record for the longest season-opening point streaks with 51 games.
Toronto honored its long history with Sweden
Nylander also made remarks on Maple Leafs’ long lasting history with Sweden. The Maple Leafs arrived early to find a patch honoring Borje Salming. The Swedish defenseman spent 16 seasons with the Maple Leafs, playing 1099 games. Salming was also the first European to be inducted into NHL Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Leafs immortalised the late HOF inductee as they invited Anders Salming, Borje’s son to the puck drop.
Sheldon Keefe, Toronto’s coach also invited Mats Sundin, a Maple Leafs’ legend from Sweden to address the team ahead of the game. Sundin, a HOF 2012 played 11 seasons with the Leafs. He is also the Mpale Leafs’ all-time leader in goals (420) and points (987).
In the opneing line-up read out by Sundin, Keefe included three Swedes. William Nylander was joined by Calle Jarnkrok and William Lagesson.
Post-game, Anders Salming awarded the Player-of-the-game to William Nylander. Nylander then, met his family. His grandmother Eva Altellius was seeing her grandchild play for the first time and it was spectacular.
Indeed the game was special, For Nylander and most importantly, the fans. It will be one of the most iconic moments in Swedish sports. The fans would forever remember the special evening.