The Toronto Maple Leafs expectations are sky high.
After three years of failing to advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and with one of the greatest cores in the NHL locked up long term, the expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs are insane.
It’s basically Cup or Bust.
Oh sure, people will try to sound measured, they’ll talk about just showing progress and all that, but underneath any Leafs fan is a raging id demanding victory or else…..
So don’t expect this season to be any less insane than usual.
With heightened expectations comes heightened insanity.
Cup or Bust
Now, my personal ethos is that judging a team based on results is unfair based on the parity of the NHL and the amount of luck that goes into winning.
But we have to put that aside. The average fan has some colourful things to say about my own personal ethos – believe me, I’ve heard it all.
And in a way, that anonymous internet rage monster is all of us, and he’s not wrong.
This city has rewarded this team with the kind of unconditional love a mother would be jealous of, and in return we’ve gotten nothing.
Bad decisions, bad drafts and bad managers. A litany of them. For years, and unrelenting years.
The last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup, the Beatles were together and VCRs were science fiction.
there’s a little bit of angst built into the fanbase.
Only this year, it’s not just empty hope.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the best rosters in the NHL. Objectively.
With Andersen, Matthews, Marner and Rielly, they’ve got a top-five player at every position.
They’ve got a brilliant young GM, one of the league’s most respected coaches, and absolutely no reason not to win.
Of course, we all know that wining is 90% luck. The Atlantic Division first round matchup has a very high chance of being more difficult than the Stanley Cup Final.
Was last year.
And we all know the best team doesn’t always win.
But if you’ve been paying attention, then you know Babcock is “on the hot seat” and that Dubas revolutionary approach only has so much time before people get nervous if there’s no results.
That stuff sucks.
I wish cooler heads could prevail.
But we all know that isn’t possible. This city has seen the Raptors and the Jays win. They’ve taken all the rebuilding they can take.
For the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s time to put up.