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Uphill Battle Now Facing The Toronto Maple Leafs

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The playoff pressure pendulum that was stuck on the Washington Capitals for the past two games is now bearing down on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Their skate-like-crazy, throw-pucks-at-the-net, see-what-happens style made the Leafs the talk of the NHL for the first week of the playoffs.

But now that the Capitals gave them a good lesson on playoff hockey in Game 4 – yes, the Leafs made it close near the end but that was only on the scoreboard – it is time to see if the roller-coaster team really is ready to stay ahead of the rebuilding plan and finish this upset, which looked so close until the Caps tied the first-round series with that 5-4 win on Wednesday.

Roundup: The latest news and results from the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The best-of-seven series is now a best-of-three, with two games in Washington. The Leafs have more than a chance to win but that means once again bouncing back against the best regular-season team in the league. Game 5 may well decide this, since the winner gets a 3-2 lead, one game from ending it in what is a battle of the psyches as much as on the ice.

continued

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

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WingedRider's avatar

Their skate-like-crazy, throw-pucks-at-the-net, see-what-happens style made the Leafs the talk of the NHL for the first week of the playoffs.

Leafs are the only team in the NHL apparently, check out the Oilers. Forgot Toronto is the only town in Canada.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/21/17 at 12:15 PM ET

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Leafs are the only team in the NHL apparently

Yeah, that’s it.  It has nothing to do with the team that wasn’t supposed to make the playoffs actually stepping up against the President’s Trophy winning team that so many people think is “their year”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MGnIdwZl-8

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/21/17 at 12:50 PM ET

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No, it’s the instant, out-of-proportion hype Toronto immediately attracts.

And it does look silly to people outside that bubble.

Good season, promising team, but hard for an outsider to root for the Leafs
when their rebuild has been one of the most almost cynical, but certainly
ruthlessly rational uses of big money and the jettisoning of once-respected
veterans to LTIR, combined with signing players solely to flip them
for picks, being as bad as possible just as long as it suited their interests, etc.

It appears to have worked, but as a sports fan, it sort of leaves you cold.

The funniest example of hype so far was, after Toronto won a second game,
one headline blared that they were “closing in” on winning the series.
As if a 2-1 lead in a series means much of anything.

Posted by Lefty30 on 04/21/17 at 09:06 PM 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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