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NHL Playoffs 2022: Maple Leafs have probability to exorcise numerous demons in Recreation 7 vs. Lightning


The Toronto Maple Leafs had an opportunity to shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday in Recreation 6 of their First Spherical playoff collection. They did not seize the chance, because the Lightning received 4-3 in time beyond regulation, and now the collection will come right down to a Recreation 7.

Hear, it is no secret that the Maple Leafs have had their justifiable share of disappointments in recent times. In every of the previous 5 seasons, Toronto has bowed out within the opening spherical of the playoffs. The Maple Leafs have solely been to the postseason on six events because the 2003-04 marketing campaign. Apart from the 5 consecutive postseason appearances, the Maple Leafs’ different playoff season got here within the 2012-13 season … after they misplaced to the Boston Bruins in, you guessed it, the Jap Convention Quarterfinals.

The Maple Leafs have an opportunity to train a demon on Saturday that has plagued them for the previous twenty years. They have not superior previous the opening spherical of the postseason because the 2003-04 season, after they defeated the Ottawa Senators within the Jap Convention Quarterfinals in seven video games.

With all of that in thoughts, here is a deeper take a look at how every of these latest postseason appearances got here up quick.

2020-21 season

The 2020-21 NHL season was shortened to a 56-game slate because of the COVID-19 pandemic altering the earlier marketing campaign. And because of United States/Canada border restrictions, the Maple Leafs have been compelled to play within the North Division, which was comprised totally of Canadian NHL groups.

Even with the abbreviated season, the Maple Leafs nonetheless completed with 77 factors and have been on the high of the North Division when the common season wrapped up. Toronto could be matched up in opposition to the Montreal Canadiens within the opening spherical of the playoffs after the Canadiens completed fourth within the division. That is not too unhealthy for Toronto, proper?

Incorrect.

This needs to be one of many worst postseason defeats within the historical past of the franchise. The Maple Leafs dropped the opening recreation of the collection, however rattled off three consecutive wins to take a 3-1 collection lead. Then the wheels utterly fell off. Toronto misplaced Video games 5 and 6 in time beyond regulation adopted by a 3-1 loss in Recreation 7. Canadiens netminder Carey Worth stood on his head as he stopped 30 of the 31 pictures that he confronted within the series-deciding contest.

After solely permitting 4 objectives within the first 4 video games of the collection, goaltender Jack Campbell surrendered a mind-boggling 9 objectives over the ultimate three video games, resulting in the Maple Leafs’ elimination. Star middle Auston Matthews solely scored one aim in the complete collection whereas fellow ahead Mitch Marner has held goal-less. 

2019-20 season


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The 2019-20 marketing campaign was utterly flipped on its head when the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon North America. On March 12, 2020, the NHL common season was suspended. The league did determine to return on Aug. 1 with a really completely different playoff format that featured a Qualifying Spherical.

The Maple Leafs ended up going through the Columbus Blue Jackets in a best-of-five collection. It was very a lot a back-and-forth collection that featured the 2 groups alternating wins by way of the primary 4 video games. Nonetheless, in a winner-take-all Recreation 5, superior goaltending was the story as Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo stopped all 33 pictures that he confronted in a 3-0 Blue Jackets win.

2018-19 season

The Maple Leafs have been one of many league’s most dominant groups all through the 2018-19 marketing campaign. Toronto completed the common season with 100 factors, good for third place within the Atlantic Division.

When the postseason rolled round, the Maple Leafs discovered themselves taking over the Boston Bruins (a well-recognized foe, which we are going to go over under), who completed second within the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs had the higher hand within the collection as they held a 2-1 benefit. However the Bruins ended up successful three of the ultimate 4 video games of the collection, together with outscoring the Maple Leafs 9-3 over the ultimate two video games.

This collection did find yourself turning into Matthews’ popping out occasion, as he scored 5 objectives. He scored objectives in 4 of the seven video games, together with a two-goal efficiency in a Recreation 4 loss. 

2017-18 season

Very like the earlier season, the Maple Leafs end third within the Atlantic Division and confronted the Bruins within the opening spherical of the playoffs. The Bruins utterly outclassed the Maple Leafs within the first two video games of the collection, outscoring Toronto 12-4. In consequence, the Bruins shortly took a 2-0 collection lead. To their credit score, the Maple Leafs battled again and received three of the 4 video games, which compelled a Recreation 7. 

Recreation 7 produced an offensive explosion with the 2 groups combining for 11 objectives. Bruins ahead Patrice Bergeron led the best way with a aim and two assists in a 7-4 win. The Maple Leafs have been paced by a two-goal efficiency from veteran middle Patrick Marleau, however the Bruins scored 4 instances within the third interval, together with two from star winger David Pastrnak. The Maple had held a 4-3 lead getting into the ultimate 20 minutes.

For the second time in two seasons, the Bruins have been the supply of the Maple Leafs’ frustration.

2016-17 season


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After lacking the playoffs the earlier three seasons, the Maple Leafs had renewed hope that their fortunes would change getting into the 2016-17 season. That was due to the arrival of Matthews, who was chosen with the highest choose within the 2016 NHL Draft. Within the common season, Matthews burst onto the scene with a 40-goal marketing campaign and ,unsurprisingly, received the Calder Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s high rookie when the season concluded.

The Maple Leafs completed the common season in fourth place (95 factors) in a top-heavy Atlantic Division. Their 95 factors have been the best in 12 years, so there was motive for optimism getting into the playoffs. The Maple Leafs confronted off in opposition to the Washington Capitals, who received the Metropolitan Division after an 118-point season that noticed them win the Presidents’ Trophy.

It was a closely-contested collection that noticed 5 of the six video games go to time beyond regulation. After dropping a 3-2 time beyond regulation determination in Recreation 1, the Maple Leafs received Video games 2 and three thanks, together with a 4-3 triumph in double time beyond regulation in Recreation 2. Nonetheless, the Capitals received the following three video games by only one aim apiece and eradicated the Maple Leafs within the course of. Matthews did have a aim in every of the ultimate 4 video games of the collection.





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