Wednesday, May 1, 2013
It's About Time...Toronto Has A Team They Can Be Proud Of
Then there are the stalwart Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs are a very successful franchise as they have won the second most Stanley Cups in the history of the sport with thirteen. Unfortunately, anyone under the age of fifty most certainly can't remember one that actually happened. The Leafs last championship run happened way back in 1967. Since then seventeen franchises have been able to say that they were champions. The Toronto faithful can't wait til the day comes where they can claim the same thing, if it ever comes.
It has been nine years since the last time that the Leafs were playoff bound. When the Maple Leafs were in the playoffs there were no states that allowed same sex marriage, Ken Jennings had never been on Jeopardy, the Red Sox were still living through the curse, Call of Duty and Halo were still on their first installments, the average cost of a gallon of gas was $2.10, Lance Armstrong was the most beloved athlete in the world, we didn't care who the mother was, Stephen Colbert was just some guy on the Daily Show, Lebron James was a rookie, and we didn't hate Gary Bettman. Well two lockouts and eight seasons later and we finally have Toronto playoff hockey. I just wish Brian Burke was here to see this (wait, no I don't).
James Reimer has put together his best campaign by far in his career. He bounced back from his sophomore slump season that he experienced last season. He posted his best save percentage and goals against average in his three years in the league. He took this team on his back and carried them to new heights. At the ripe age of 25, he showed that he will be the man between the pipes for years to come. He ended up seventh in the league in save percentage. On top of Reimer, Ben Scrivens showed he could more than carry the load in the absence of their starter. If Reimer can keep his cool during the playoffs, this could be one of the bigger stories of the postseason.
The fact is that Toronto finally has something they can be proud of. The city as a whole can finally rejoice as they have made the postseason in a sport for the first time in five years. They face a tough test in the Boston Bruins and with success only comes greater expectations. They need to find a way to continue this kind of success.
The main reason that the Leafs are where they are is because of the man who never leaves the bench, Randy Carlyle. He has brought a different mindset to this team. He is the most important cog to this entire Maple Leaf machine. The Leafs will go where their coach takes them. Don't be surprised if that's to the second round, and maybe even beyond.