It feels so good to finally see the Leafs do the bare minumum in the playoffs

19 years. 11 consecutive losses in elimination games.
All of the pain and misery over the past two decades finally became a thing of the past when John Tavares slayed the dragon and propelled the Leafs into the second round for the first time since 2004.
Saying that this moment was a long time coming for a fan base that had been used to nothing but heartbreak in the playoffs would be a massive understatement. Quite frankly, the city deserved to have a chance to celebrate progress in the postseason by seeing their team do the bare minimum and play more than seven games in the spring.
The Leafs finally exorcising one of their playoff demons reminds me of how I felt during their last three first-round exits. In 2020, I was ready for them to move on from Frederik Andersen because he let them down in the bubble. A year later, my anger was directed at the team for blowing a prime opportunity to go deep potentially and seeking a significant shakeup once the collapse was complete. Just last season, I felt dissatisfied because while they made progress it was still not enough.
The vast majority of the losses since 2017 saw the Leafs be the better team but would find creative ways to come up short when the stars shined the brightest. That’s not taking into account all of the times they embarrassed themselves for all the world to see in the regular season like losing to a Zamboni driver or blowing a 5-1 lead to the Senators, or all of the questionable roster decisions like moving on from Nazem Kadri and never properly replacing him or not try …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

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