Toronto Maple Leafs: Ranking the Last Decade of 1st Round Exits

Vesa Toskala, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Vesa Toskala, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 09:David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets shake hands with John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

The 2019-2020 Toronto Maple Leafs

With the league shutting down early because of the pandemic, an altered playoffs format is instituted and the Leafs face the Columbus Blue Jackets in a five-game qualifying round.

Hired just 23 games into the season, Sheldon Keefe’s Leafs finish 27-15-5 and meet a goal-deprived Columbus team with a stingy defense. Desperate for any type of early success, Leaf fans are instead treated to more horror as they watch Toronto’s offence get absolutely stymied in games one and five and see another third-period collapse resulting in a OT loss.

Fans are briefly energized when the Leafs overcome a 3-0 third-period game four deficit with less than four minutes left and win the game in OT on a Matthews PP goal, tying the series and forcing a decisive game five only to remember what team they are fans of as they watch the Leafs get shut out in game five to lose the series. Matthews (two goals, six points) leads the team and Marner finishes zero and four.

RANKING: Tyler Biggs (22)

To see Toronto claw back in game four after being down three goals with almost no time remaining and then win in OT was shocking, euphoric and exhilarating. It showed that this team was resilient, tired of disappointing and was, undoubtedly, going to use this momentum and win game five. Yea, not even close. I remember when Brian Burke showed similar enthusiasm after drafting Biggs, raving about his level of strength and fitness. Zero NHL games for the Herculean Tyler Biggs.