Ok, maybe apart from the Knights. Or the Avs, because dead last to the cup in one year is better than two. But apart from that, the Leafs are up there... and let me be clear, I’m talking specifically about this year. Any other year it’s just the cup, this year it’s a story of coincidence.
50 Mission Cap. The song was about one cup drought, were the Leafs to win this year it could be about two of them—this is the 51st year since the Leafs last cup victory.
This is the Leafs 67th playoff appearance ever. Yeah. 67.
And now for a more current coincidence:
Last year, the Leafs clinched against the Penguins. There was a pleasing coincidence at the time, that being that at the start of the Leafs run of woefulness back in ‘05-06, the Lightning eliminated the Leafs from a playoff spot in the second-last game by beating the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes. Last spring, the Leafs eliminated the Lightning in the second-last game by beating the eventual—and reigning—Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. However, back to the story of this year. The Devils beat the Leafs in the second-last game to clinch a playoff spot. As it stands, that’s just a fact. If the Leafs were to win it all this year however, that becomes:
- Both teams won the draft lottery the year prior
- Both teams made the playoffs the year following, by the skin of their teeth
- In both cases the clinching game was the 81st of the season, and at home
- Both teams had a bus-sized centerman named Brian Boyle
- In both cases, the position clinched was the 2nd wild card spot
- In both cases, they were the 15th ranked team in the playoffs
- Both teams were being chased by—and eliminated to clinch—a team from Florida
- In both games the winner trailed early
This is already kinda interesting, but capping it all off with “In both cases the clinching game was against the eventual champs” would be really weird. And awesome.
And on top of that, because it would piss off Habs fans to have long-time Hab Plekanec win a cup with Toronto. Especially if, as rumored, he goes right back to Montreal in the summer. “Yeah, I just left to go win a cup, but I’m back now”
*To be extra clear... this isn’t a Leafs fan planning the parade prematurely. It’s just a wow, this would be extra cool because xyz, too bad the real world doesn’t work that way. The road involves Boston for sure, and then probably Tampa and Pittsburgh. And who comes out of the west, who the hell knows...
Bonus pic of Kappy Krushing