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A New Season For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com,

The Toronto Maple Leafs were all smiles when they gathered for the official 2021-22 team photo on the Scotiabank Arena ice Wednesday. With Auston Matthews having scored his 60th goal of the season when Toronto clinched home ice for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings 15 hours earlier, there was plenty of reason to be jovial.

But here's the reality of the situation: If the Maple Leafs stumble in the early stages of the postseason yet again, one of the greatest regular seasons in their nearly 105-year history, for individual players and the team itself, will end will a dour mood.

"All the accolades come when the team is doing well. Like, you get individual awards and stuff in the regular season, and it's great. But come playoff time those things don't mean much," defenseman Jake Muzzin said with a knowing chuckle.

"It's a new season, really, and we've got to start breaking records in [the] playoffs I guess, so to speak. So it's take it day by day, get ready for Game 1 and go from there."

After closing out their regular season against the Boston Bruins on Friday, the Maple Leafs will play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at home having clinched second place in the Atlantic Division. They will face the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning or the Bruins, who reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2019.

Either way, playoff experience and success will not be on their side.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

d ca's avatar

Enjoy home ice for that one game against Tampa. Something tells me come game 5 you won’t have it anymore.

Posted by d ca on 04/28/22 at 02:30 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Public service message:

Always check your kids candy for choking hazards:

maple leafs logo in middle of candy

Posted by d ca on 04/28/22 at 02:35 PM ET

Avatar

Lol the choking hazard is hilarious!

Posted by pnwwing on 04/28/22 at 05:35 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

What if the Toronto Maple Leafs once again fail to advance past the first round of the playoffs?

What happens then?

Should Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe both lose their jobs? Should the team split up the $40-million four? Should Jack Campbell be shown the door? Should the playoffs essentially erase what has been arguably one of the best seasons in the history of the franchise?

This has been a banner year for the Leafs, who conclude their regular season at home against the Boston Bruins on Friday. Whether that’s a preview of the first round — or whether Toronto gets Tampa Bay — was dependent on how Boston did against Buffalo on Thursday night.

I’d say pick your poison. But you’re likely going to have to go through both of them in order to get to the Cup.

So whether they face their demons now and get the Bruins again, or play the two-time defending champion Lightning, getting out of the first round has not gotten any easier for a team that has approached this season with a sort of do-or-die approach.

That’s not an excuse to be saved later. That’s the truth.

read on

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/28/22 at 05:41 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Always check your kids candy for choking hazards…

Posted by d ca on 04/28/22 at 02:35 PM ET

The things that are the funniest are always those things that are rooted in the truth. Well done.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/28/22 at 06:50 PM ET

Avatar

Maybe this is partly the media trying to work through
it’s own tendency to melt down when the Leafs do
- but ahead of time. Because for almost a year we got nothing but:
Toronto simply has to win at least one round - even one isn’t very good
- but nothing else matters.

Do they not see how sad this is, what a sign of
a not ready for prime time team and market?

Can’t we please just be considered winners for our
regular season accolades? But but but one of our
Gen Z men’s lifestyle and fashion aficionados scored
sixty goals! Isn’t that enough?

Why can’t our very special regular season grant us
first, second, and third round byes?

Isn’t this supposed to be the center of the hockey universe?
One of the first things you learn as an NHL fan about the playoffs is
the President’s trophy - if it means anything - is more a curse than a guarantee of playoff success. Hardly anyone wants to even accidentally touch hardware short of the Cup. Conference champs is nice, but it’s not the goal.

But these media guys are already telling us:
Hey, the Leafs aren’t going to get an easy first round matchup.
So it’s kind of unfair to expect them to win a round.
Who has ever won a Cup without having to battle through a really tough first or second round matchup, including trailing in a series?
Did they think the Leafs would be matched with a lottery team, like
#1 plays #32 and so on?

Posted by lefty.30 on 04/28/22 at 09:46 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Big odds on them losing, so I would just do what they every year.  The old , old fan can’t remember.  So lose it is, unless it is for someone rare..What were we taking about anyway?????

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/28/22 at 11:24 PM ET

Avatar

Muzzin coming back reminds me of Franzen….....
Hope he doesn’t regret this.

Posted by pnwwing on 04/29/22 at 12:36 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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