How do you blow a 4-1 lead with a little over 10 mins remaining in Game 7? Just ask the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Yes… after 9 years of waiting for their triumphant return to post-season play, the Leafs are once again practicing their golf swing. And Leafs fans everywhere are trying to answer that seemingly unanswerable question… HOW?!?
It may have only been Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but any Game 7 involving the Maple Leafs is bound to stir up a lot of excitement in Leaf Nation.
And so it was last night, as I watched my dreams of a second round playoff series slowly implode before my very eyes, I could feel the collective weight of Leafs fans everywhere bearing down on me. It was painful.
I personally don’t feel that the Leafs are guilty of sitting back and trying to protect their rapidly dwindling lead. I think that it was simply their inexperience that left them unprepared (and scrambling) when the Bruins Juggernaut finally got rolling at full speed. They panicked. They fell apart. They choked.
This Toronto team is young. As heart breaking as last night was, I think that there is a good lesson to be learned here. I predict that this small taste of Stanley Cup playoff success (Hey, they did better than Montreal or Vancouver) will light a fire inside of those young players, and the experience will translate into greater confidence and winning.
For now I’m forced to pin my hopes on the Ottawa Senators.