The Toronto Maple Leafs won a lot of Stanley Cups before I was born.
I am told that the Toronto Maple Leafs have a glorious history of success, but I haven’t seen too many examples of it.
For a couple years when I was a little kid, Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuck and Felix Potvin had a couple good runs. The Leafs traded for Mats Sundin, when I was 12, and the next ten years saw Curtis Joseph, Ed Belfour and two more Final Four appearances.
From the time I was ten to the time I was roughly 22, I saw the Leafs get within a game or two of the Cup Finals four times, and I thought that was pretty decent, but that was prior to 18 straight years without a playoff victory.
Toronto Maple Leafs Best Season Ever
This article was written and scheduled for publication long before last night’s game even started, but regardless of what happened and what is to come, I just wanted to say that this year’s season was the best I have ever seen.
Better than all four appearances in the Conference Finals, better than the season the Leafs traded for Doug Gilmour, Mats Sundin, Bryan Berard, or Phil Kessel, and better than any season those guys were ever a part of.
Auston Matthews 60 goals, 106 points.
Mitch Marner prevented from a third straight shortened season yet again from hitting 100 points.
Matthews likely winning the Hart Trophy.
Marner deserving, at worst, to be a finalist for the Hart Trophy.
Michael Bunting deserving the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
The NHL’s best special teams.
The acquisition of Mark Giordano.
The career season from William Nylander, and the continued excellence of Morgan Rielly, Jack Campbell, TJ Brodie and John Tavares.
The Toronto Maple Leafs built a skill based team, and manipulated the salary cap in a way in which had never been done, and despite a flat cap during what should have been the biggest ever revenue growth period for the league (and subsequently sent the cap skyrocketing with gambling, expansion and TV money) they built an annually competitive team that may be the best team of in the NHL, and could yet prove to be the best team of the Cap Era.
So whether or not they get out of the first round this season – I maintain that they will – it has been the best season of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey that I have ever seen.