I understand the wariness from Toronto Maple Leafs fans when it comes to the postseason.
After all, we’ve all seen some pretty epic collapses from the Toronto Maple Leafs over the last decade alone. I myself have lived on this earth for more than two decades and I can’t say that I’ve been coherent enough to watch the Leafs win a playoff series, as the last one happened when I was three-years-old.
This season, we’ve watched the Leafs thrive in the best division in hockey as they currently hold the fourth best record in the NHL and second place in the Atlantic division. Because of the way the NHL playoffs work, The Leafs reward for such a great season and their best in franchise history is a series against the back-to-back defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Yes, Leafs fans, it sucks. I know. I’m not thrilled about it either. They’ve got everything they need to make a run at a three-peat and the Leafs just so happen to be first in line to try to stop them. Even though it’s not an ideal situation, let me tell you why it’s not a big deal.
Toronto Maple Leafs and the Playoffs
I’ve heard a lot about how the NHL needs to go back to the 1-8 playoff seeding and abandon the divisional format. The Leafs opponent if the playoffs were 1-8 seeding?
None other than the Boston Bruins. Not exactly an “ideal opponent” either.
So let’s just imagine that this playoff system is here to stay, and for the sake of this season’s playoffs, it is.
Stop talking about “ideal opponents”. There’s no such thing in these playoffs in the Eastern conference. Surely, though, you disagree because you just want to win a round, right?
That’s a loser’s mentality.
The goal here isn’t to end the playoff series drought. The goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Even if it wasn’t Tampa or Boston in the first round, they’d be there at some point for the Leafs. Why not just face them early and be done with it?
To win the cup, you need to beat the best teams. Stop saying that the current format is “too hard”. Winning championships is hard.
The “woe is me” attitude from Leafs fans when the playoffs roll around is beyond embarrassing. All of us are guilty of it. Tell me. Is there any shame in losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games? Especially if they go on to win the cup again? No. there’s not.
I understand the feeling that this fanbase has when it comes to the playoffs. We have seen some bad things.
Guess what, every team has had bad postseason collapses.
Remember when the President’s Trophy winning Lightning got swept by the 8-seed Columbus Blue Jackets?
Despite what you may think of the Leafs in the playoffs over the last decade, it’s never been that bad.
The drought may end this year, it may not. One thing is certain: this is the best Toronto Maple Leafs team I’ve ever watched in my life.