You may not believe it, but we’re currently living in the best era of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey.
Remember when the Toronto Maple Leafs were a terrible hockey team? Remember when there wasn’t a chance they would make the playoffs and if they finally did make it, they would lose in the most frustrating way possible?
Well, I guess that last part still lives true, but if you look at the past five years, this is the best time to be a Leafs fan.
I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy because the team hasn’t won a playoff round since 2004. You’re also thinking that how can an era where they haven’t won a Stanley Cup in it be better than one that they did, but I can’t count anything prior to 1967.
I know that’s discrediting the history of the NHL, but there were six teams in the league back then. With a one-in-six chance of winning a Stanley Cup and one-in-three chance of playing in one, it wasn’t that hard to win.
Sorry to all of you old-time fans, but I don’t care what you think.
In modern history, this is the best time to be a Leafs fan.
You Should Be Happy You’re a Leafs Fan Right Now
If you watch Leafs games and still yell at Mitch Marner for being overpaid or that the defense isn’t good enough, you should give your head a shake. If you’ve been a fan for a while, you should be thankful that you crawled through a river of crap like Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption and came out on the other side.
Since 2017, the Leafs have had four of their best 11 regular seasons, based off winning percentage, with two of those seasons happening this year and last year.
For a team that has been around 104 years, you’re currently watching the greatest regular season team they’ve ever assembled. How the heck are we not celebrating this more? Instead, we’re just waiting for the playoffs to start and if they lose again, it was all hopeless.
That’s a terrible way to look at it.
We are guaranteed 82 regular season games per year and anything after that is gravy. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be sad or happy if they win or lose in the playoffs, but we need to be thankful that the playoffs are a guarantee for this roster.
Five years ago, that wasn’t the case.
Five years ago, we were crying in the streets because the team finally made the playoffs in an 82-game season for the first time since 2004.
However, now we take it for granted.
Imagine being an Edmonton Oilers fan right now? They have the last two Hart Trophy winners and they may not even make the playoffs this year. They drafted arguably the most impressive player since Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux in Connor McDavid and he’s played 21 playoff games since 2015.
The Oilers are nowhere close to competing for a Stanley Cup.
Wouldn’t you rather lose in the first round every year with at least a hope of competing for a Stanley Cup instead of wasting talent every single year?
The best team doesn’t always win the Stanley Cup. A team usually needs a few cracks at it until it finally happens. You need to give yourself as many opportunities at it as possible and hope that you find lightning in a bottle and go on a magical run.
It’s incredibly hard to win a championship in professional sports, but if you can consistently make the playoffs like the Toronto Maple Leafs have been doing, it increases your chances at finally winning a Stanley Cup.
I know it can be easier to criticize than to love, but enjoy the ride. Auston Matthews is the greatest player in Toronto Maple Leafs history, so being able to watch him every night is special. Not too mention that Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander are pretty darn good too.
Also, it’s not like we had to send Leo Komarov to the NHL All-Star Game this year. Instead, Auston Matthews captained the team and we sent a goaltender (!!). That’s an incredible accomplishment for a team that hasn’t had consistent goaltending since Ed Belfour.
I know it’s frustrating to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but that frustration will pay off. And if it doesn’t, well at least you got to enjoy an amazing group of players and the best era of Leafs hockey in 50 years.