Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski / USA TODAY Sports

#MyColumn: A disappointing end to a disappointing season

Toronto felt like a different city on Saturday night. After beating the Penguins, a Leafs team led entirely by youths was on its way to the playoffs. A much needed full-season playoff berth not seen by the city in over a decade.

The mood was much different Sunday night.

After jumping out to a two-goal lead thanks to JVR rounding into Playoff JVR, the Leafs promptly blew it – losing their potential matchup with Ottawa in the process. Now they face the Capitals, a stacked powerhouse. It’s a sure loss.

Which is why this season can only be seen as a disappointment. The Leafs not only blew an easier matchup, but with three losses in their last four games, blew their chance at home-ice advantage too. A lot of people will point to the team going 14-5-1 in the final quarter of the season to make a big playoff push, but what’s the point of a big playoff push if you aren’t going to win every single game?

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What kind of message does that send to fans?

I, of course, knew the Leafs were a playoff team a year ago. So them barely getting in, setting up a series in which they – at best – have a 40% shot of winning, can only be seen as a failure.

This is on everyone – the players, the coach, and management. If you’re going to get into the playoffs just to lose, you should have tanked instead. Added another top young asset to the organization. Stack the team for a few more years through the draft, and THEN go for it. Just look at the Oilers – they’re doing it the right way.

That’s not even mentioning that the Leafs are in the playoffs despite losing more games than they won – a flaw in the system that is robbing Leafs fans of the long-term success they deserve. They need to get a few more lottery picks before they can be competitive.

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Becoming a good team is a process. And it’s very obvious that the Leafs ownership wanted the Leafs to make the playoffs as fast as possible. This is the same trap we’ve been falling into for the last decade. As a fan, it makes me sick. As a professional sports journalist, it makes me even sicker.

You should only make the playoffs if you are going to win the Cup – otherwise, there is no point. Instead, now I have to start paying attention to all of the players who might be available at the 17th overall pick. I should have been fantasizing about who the Leafs would draft 1st overall.

A frustrating end to a frustrating season.

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  • MartinPolak

    I agree with the stupidity of those complaining this hurts our draft pick or how we somehow lost out another lottery ticked with that traded second round draft pick.

    But remember, a lot of you, (and I’m not sure if bobby cap is part of the group), but many of you also bought into Burke’s philosophy about the pitfalls of trading futures or picks for veterans like Boyle, who solidify a weakness on the team even though that means the team will likely get their ass whipped in the first round. And even though that player likely walks away for nothing after the playoffs. Most of these people are flip floppers who jump the fence whenever they see fit. Those guys are the real joke here. Good story though.

  • lukewarmwater

    guffaw, guffaw, guffaw, hah hah, hah, sooooo gooody Booby, I mean that was satire that well FREAKING FAILED. Heh kiddies if you can’t do satire don’t attempt it. In the mean time I got to go barf after that article. Booby , Booby we thought which ever non creative mind amongst the group you are WERE GONE. SADLY NOOOOO. PLEASE NO MORE, I’LL TALK , I’LL TALK , I’LL TELL YOU WHAT EVER YOU WANT TO KNOW. JUST TORTURE US ANY MORE.

      • lukewarmwater

        Here is the basic point HKK Booby attempted and failed in an article that was suppose to be satirical. The bottom line and understand this, millions of leaf fans and especially young leaf fans sweated it out as M.L.S.E. had this club play 5 games in 7 days, lost their starting goalie, played three of the toughest teams in the league, namely Washington, Pittsburgh, and Columbus in the last week. Booby thinks it is funny to crap on the success of the management, players and the oh so loyal fans. This stupid column had disappeared thank God only to reappear today when leaf fans and especially the young ones who remember only one playoff, namely the disaster against Boston 5 years ago. Love your goalie picture there, time to take another puck to the head regarding your comment to me.

        • KrazyKerrnuk93

          Lol what, it seems as though you understand this is satire so if that’s the case what are you talking about? I think you need to stay off the internet for a while.

        • If you’re going to critique someone’s writing, you might want to spend some time working on your own first. Punctuation might need to be your first case study.

          Also, how old do you think everyone is on here? The second last playoffs was only 12 years ago (“only” is a relative term)? Do you assume everyone you speak to is 16 or something?

          No one is forcing you to read anything. If you don’t like something, don’t participate. This is exactly the response someone like Bobby expects from these posts. You are simply encouraging him at this point. What do you expect from a totally free service? If you want hard-hitting journalism, go read Time or National Geographic or something.

  • Glen

    Like most things in life there is no perfect way to become a contender. In my opinion it was very important to get a taste of success for the young Leafs who had such great rookie years. That is why they traded a pick for Boyle, it was time to end the losing mentality. So they will get a taste of the playoffs, much better than a mind numbing last place finish for a chance at a no. one in this years talent poor draft.

  • Gary Empey

    It looks like Bobby has gotten used to the excitement of picking a high draft pick. I like the idea of picking around 17th this year. That is where a lot of the top four D-man come from.

    • Gary Empey

      At 17th the Toronto Maple Leafs take Nicolas Hague.
      Defense — shoots L
      Born Dec 5 1998 — Kitchener, ONT
      Height 6.05 — Weight 216

      “He’s a big defenceman who is a fluid skater” “He moves the puck extremely well, creating a ton of offense. He shows an ability to run the power play and has an excellent shot that he gets through with consistency.”

    • lukewarmwater

      Brother, any chance that you think the leafs might try to move up the draft, there is always some club loaded with eager beaver analytic guys that we could fleece thanks to leaping Lou Lamerello.

      • Gary Empey

        I really tough question to speculate on. I really don’t know Lamariello’s history on trading up. Using the Bleacher Report’s Mock Draft, I see four D-men listed in the 10th to 20th range. After that the highest rated D-man comes in at 28th.

        12th- Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK Helsinki (FIN)
        13th – Cale Makar, D, Brooks (AJHL)
        15th – Callan Foote, D, Kelowna (WHL)
        17th – Nicolas Hague, D, Mississauga (OHL)