5. Another Choke Job for the Toronto Maple Leafs
Like clockwork, the biggest storyline of the past calendar year was the Leafs “choking.”
It pains me to keep writing about this, but I’ll do it anyways.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were the best team in the North Division. For the first time in forever, the team won their division and gained home-ice advantage. However, in Leafs fashion, they couldn’t even enjoy home-ice, as the government still wasn’t allowing fans in the building.
In Game 1, the energy was alive in the city, despite everyone being at home. We were excited because all the team had to do was beat the Montreal Canadiens, then another Canadian team and they were in the Conference Finals. After dominating all year, how hard could that be?
Then 10 minutes into Game 1, the season was doomed. Captain John Tavares had a freakish injury, which left all of us panicking. The Leafs couldn’t recover and eventually lost the game.
Despite the injury, Tavares’ injury seemed less concerning a few days later, as he was skating and the team was up 3-1 in the series. Finally, they were going to win a playoff series…
You all know the rest of the story, as a few days later the Canadiens won Game 7 in Scotiabank Arena and marched all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Toronto was finally supposed to win, but they choked away one of their easiest opportunities in recent years.
Let’s hope those choking seasons are behind us, because if I’m writing the same thing in December, 2022, I’m not going to be happy.