The fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs know dry spreader – since 1967 and thus longer than any other franchise, the fans of the founding member of the NHL are already waiting for a championship title. In recent years, however, things were not going well for the blue and white maple leaf wearers in the first round of the play-offs: Despite partly high favorite role, the Leafs have not been out of the first play-off round since 2004. An overview of the sometimes curious bankruptcies:
- season 2012/13 against the Boston Bruins
- season 2016/17 against the Washington Capitals
- season 2017/18 against the Boston Bruins
- season 2019/20 against Columbus Blue Jackets
- season 2020/21 against the Montreal Canadiens
- season 2021/22 against Tampa Bay Lightning
season 2012/13 against the Boston Bruins
The play-offs in 2013 should turn out to be the beginning of the curious curse. After nine years without a play-off participation, Toronto went into the series against Boston as an outsider. Despite an interim 3-1 deficit in the series, a seventh game was won in which everything ran according to plan for almost 50 of the 60 minutes: ten minutes before the end of the game, the Leafs led 4-1 before Boston now Legendary comeback started, by goals by Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron, and finally came into the second round through another goal of the current captain Bergeron.
season 2016/17 against the Washington Capitals
It should take until 2017 for the Leaf to qualify for a play-off participation again. With an all -round renewed squad to today’s stars Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and Willie Nylander, who played their first full year in the NHL, Toronto showed a respectable series, but in six games you had to give up the Washington Capitals.
season 2017/18 against the Boston Bruins
2018 was all about the déjà vus: Again the opponent was called Boston and again Toronto was able to catch up with a 3-1 series deficit. Even a tour in game seven was nothing new for Toronto, just as little as the renewed grief after the next bruins start-up, which thanks to four goals in the last 20 minutes were again the winner.
Toronto’s dream duo Mitch Marner (left) and Auston Matthews continues to win a play-off round. Imago/Zuma Press
season 2019/20 against Columbus Blue Jackets
After the Corona break in 2020, the NHL format was adapted for the time of pandemic, so that the last four play-off places were played in so-called “play-in” rounds. However, this change should not turn out to be advantageous for the Leafs, which was traded as a house-high favorite, which failed in five games of the best-of-five series on the Columbus Blue Jackets and thus missed the official play-offs.
season 2020/21 against the Montreal Canadiens
Last year there was a duel between the two large Canadian clubs against the Montreal Canadiens. Again the favorite role was probably more curse than a blessing. After Leafs captain John Tavares had seriously injured in the first game of the series, Toronto won three games at a time before the play-off curse struck and Montreal won five, six and seven again and then even won the final to advance the Stanley Cup.
season 2021/22 against Tampa Bay Lightning
And this year? After the best season of their history, in which the Leafs set up a new franchise record with 115 points in the regular season, the Leafs of the last two years, the Tampa Bay Lightning, faced the Leafs. Toronto won the first game of the series 5-0, whereupon Tampa game two won 5: 3. After high victories for both sides, it was finally 3: 3 and the all -decisive game seven took place in the night of May 14th to 15th. Again it did not work for the suffering of Leaf and her followers – Tampa won 2-1. With this, Torontos has continued to exist for the time being.