The Stanley Cup Playoffs have been a bit of a mess this season, and it’s all thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs ruining everything. Hear me out.
Many were tormented by the infamous “Game 7” collapse against the Boston Bruins. But did you anybody think it would start a pattern across the league? Well, I looked at all of the times that a team trained by two or more and forced overtime or a winning in regulation. No room for letting the team you caught up to come back in the game, just straight rolling out until the end of regulation, just like the Bruins did.
Turns out, this happened five six times in last year’s playoffs. This year? We’ve already seen nine two goal collaspes and a three goal. The first round isn’t even over yet! The Leafs clearly have stricken fear in the minds of teams that are up by a couple of goals, leading to repetitive disaster.
Lack of the Promised Land
As we all know, being from the
city.. town… neighbourhood of Mimico is a sure-fire way to lead a team to post-season greatness. But there’s an issue at hand; the Leafs have 3 of the 5 living players from there. David Clarkson and David Bolland on the ice, and Brendan Shanahan off of it. This leaves Brendan and Reilly Smith. The issue? They had to face each other in the first round!
If the Leafs let the Wings pick up a few more points and closed out better against Montreal, the two teams could have swapped positions in the Atlantic Division, probably ensuring that this matchup doesn’t happen until round two. Hopefully, Reilly Smith can rise above his border-line lottery teammates and bring the Stanley Cup to the promised land.
Not Boston. I’m talking a Bolland-esque parade like the header photo.
The Choke Job
The San Jose Sharks built up a 3-0 lead against the Los Angeles Kings. In a stunning turn of events, the series is tied and about to go to a seventh and deciding game.
I pin this one all on James Reimer. If my understanding of hockey is correct, and according to various media outlet, it is, the playoffs are about character and compete. What makes those things easier to manage? CONFIDENCE! You know what gives a team confidence? Winning games! Do you know who went 0-2 against San Jose this year?
If James Reimer wins against the Sharks, they’re not as confident going in and probably just straight up lose this series by now. We don’t have to see them suffer.
Sidney Crosby is under a lot of fire right now, having not scored a goal in the entire first round, continuing a drought that started late in the regular season. The reasoning for this one couldn’t be more obvious.
You see, during the Olympics, Crosby had a different scoring dip. Do you know who didn’t? Phil Kessel, who was named the tournament’s best forward. Crosby obviously wants to mimic Kessel’s play as much as possible, which includes putting pucks in the net at the same rate. He would obviously be scoring if Kessel was in the playoffs, but the Leafs just couldn’t let that happen, so Sid suffers.
Praise be to the Phil.
Creating a Villain
The Minnesota Wild are managed by Chuck Fletcher, son of former Leafs GM and still special advisor Cliff. I’m imagining a scenario where the two sit down for dinner, and Chuck asked Cliff who his most underrated asset was.
In this scenario, Cliff responds with Leo Komarov, pointing out his ability to anger teams, especially when he hits a guy in a “don’t give a damn” way. Chuck nods politely. Chuck signs Matt Cooke.
Has anybody considered that last year’s team may just be damaging hockey as a whole? Most of the core is still here, and fell off the face of the earth to close the year.
Mikhail Grabovski, Ben Scrivens, Mark Fraser, Clarke MacArthur, John-Michael Liles, Joe Colborne, and Mike Komisarek all missed the playoffs. Ryan Hamilton is back in the AHL, and David Steckel joined him.
Mike Brown is part of the now-collapsing Sharks. Matt Frattin’s Blue Jackets and Mike Kostka’s Lightning exited in the first round.
Leo Komarov’s Dynamo Moscow got eliminated a bit earlier than expected. Jussi Rynnas won a championship in Finland, but lost his starting job and was terrible in his three playoff games. If Korbinian Holzer and the Marlies don’t go on a big run, Ryan O’Byrne will be the only one who might see playoff success that he was an active part of.
Ryan O’Byrne. Yep. That roster just laid a massive egg this year.
The Leafs are the cause of collapse, both in game and series situations. They’re robbing Mimico of narrative time. They’re probably killing Sidney Crosby, totally definitely maybe the reason Matt Cooke can skate around with his knee out, and last year’s team ruined a bunch of other teams.
These are totally not cases of grasping at straws, not at all. They are completely and totally ruining the NHL and the sport of hockey as we know it. Those monsters.