Seems like old times, eh Leafs?


Jesperi Kotkaniemi of the Canadiens celebrates his goal during overtime against the Maple Leafs in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi of the Canadiens celebrates his objective throughout additional time in opposition to the Maple Leafs in Sport Six of the First Spherical of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Picture: Getty Photos

By now you understand the important thing factors. The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t gained the Stanley Cup since 1967, haven’t been to the Remaining since then both, haven’t crushed the Canadiens in a collection since their ’67 title conflict, gained their first division title since 2000 this season (due to being within the all-Canadian coronavirus-realigned circuit), and haven’t gained a postseason collection since 2004.

Since then, the Leafs have had 7 possibilities to clinch a collection. Their first was Sport 7 in 2013 in Boston, higher often called “It Was 4-1” due to the three Boston objectives within the final 11 minutes of regulation to tie the sport, and Patrice Bergeron’s additional time winner.

In 2018, Toronto took a 4-3 lead over Boston after two intervals of Sport 7. Torey Krug tied the rating 70 seconds into the third, Jake Debrusk put the Bruins forward 4:15 later, and David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand completed off one other Toronto season, as soon as once more below a flurry of 4 unanswered objectives.

In 2019, the Leafs had an opportunity on their house ice to get rid of the Bruins in Sport 6, obtained on the board first with a Morgan Rielly objective… and went on to lose, 4-2. Two nights later, again in Boston, it was 5-1 Bruins, and Tee Occasions once more for the blue and white.

Final yr’s qualifying spherical within the bubble wasn’t technically a playoff collection, but it surely doesn’t matter as a result of the Leafs didn’t win that, both, bowing out within the decisive fifth sport to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0… and blowing an opportunity to run by means of the complete Japanese Convention playoffs in their very own hometown.

Nevertheless many video games you wish to name the streak, it continued in Sport 5 in opposition to the Canadiens on Thursday, because the Habs coughed up a three-goal lead however gained on Nick Suzuki’s objective in additional time. And once more on Saturday night time, this time in entrance of precise followers in Montreal, and this time with solely a two-goal Habs edge evaporating earlier than Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s objective pressured… you guessed it, one other Sport 7.

5 occasions now throughout their 17 years with no playoff collection win, the Leafs have been in place to advance both by defending a lead or scoring an additional time objective. And by the truth that it’s “throughout their 17 years with no playoff collection win,” you understand how all 5 went.

If you would like some excellent news for the Leafs, the final time they gained a Sport 7 was additionally the final time they gained a playoff collection, in 2004 in opposition to the Senators — but additionally the final time Toronto had a Sport 7 at house. And actually, that’s not so way back, is it? In spite of everything, Zdeno Chara assisted on the one Ottawa objective in that 4-1 sport. Then once more, that Václav Varaďa objective additionally was assisted by Corridor of Famer Marian Hossa, whereas Toronto’s lineup that night time included 4 gamers who have already got made the Corridor — Ed Belfour, Ron Francis, Brian Leetch, and Joe Nieuwendyk — and Alexander Mogilny, who must be in.

The Leafs have at the least one future inductee enjoying for them now in Joe Thornton, whereas John Tavares is harm, and who is aware of what the longer term holds for Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, nonetheless of their early 20s. What the latest previous has held is Carey Worth consuming their lunch.

And simply how are the Leafs doing, on their technique to one other Sport 7, amid a gargantuan collapse in opposition to a crew they have been 18 factors forward of within the common season?

“It’s time for the phrases to cease, the clichés to cease,” Toronto ahead Nick Foligno stated, as reported by the Toronto Star. “It’s Sport 7. It’s time to place all of it on the road.”

Oh, yeah, Toronto additionally noticed its finest defenseman, Jake Muzzin, go away with an obvious groin harm in the midst of Sport 6. There’s an honest probability that the Leafs win on Monday, for no different purpose than the universe deciding that the one factor funnier than Toronto fully imploding in opposition to Montreal is Toronto simply barely avoiding utter catastrophe in opposition to its historic rival, snapping every kind of streaks within the course of, after which getting humiliated by the little ol’ Winnipeg Jets.


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