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26 Apr 2018

Toronto Maple Leafs: Your Stanley Cup dream is over

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The series

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What next for Toronto?

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What next for Boston?

(Photo credit: Figure8)

Oh, how harsh it is that one of the Leafs and Bruins would not make it to round two. Both sides put up over 100 points in the regular season and went at each other in the playoffs with no remorse. 

The result? Seven epic games that fell just in the favour of the Boston Bruins. 

The series

Game one in Boston began with a bang for the Bruins who took a comprehensive 5-1 victory with them. 

And just as we expected a Toronto fight back, Babcock and his team fell to a 7-3 loss. Amazingly the Bruins top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand combined for 20 points in these games.

A fight back seemed inevitable for the Leafs and game three fell their way with a 4-2 win. Auston Matthews got the game winner. 

However game four seemed to all but kill off Toronto who faced a Bergeron-less Bruins team and still lost 3-1.

The series looked to be over but game five and six showed that Toronto would not roll over and have their season ended for them. Game five at TD Garden finished 4-3 to Toronto and game six went the way of the Buds as they won 3-1.

This all led to game seven in Boston and the only series in the first round to go the full distance. An enthralling battle that saw Toronto lead three times fell the way of the home side but really the winners were the fans who got to watch this epic game.

The Leafs led 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 before eventually letting four third period goals past them to lose the game 7-4. It was a bitter blow for the Leafs but their fans can take heart from the tight series.

What next for Toronto?

The hope for the Buds is that they do nothing reactive to this series. They played very well and deserve plaudits for nearly turning a 3-1 series deficit into a series win.

Ultimately, they did not and there are some fixes that this team can look at to progress further next year. Top of that list is a defenseman as the team really lacks a top minute-munching player, but the team could be tempted to wait for Timothy Liljegren to progress or rely on better seasons from Nikita Zaitsev and rookie Travis Dermott. 

Either way, this loss does not dim the bright future of this team.

What next for Boston?

This team will be sore and tired heading into round two where they face off against the dominate Tampa Bay Lightning.  

But the Bergeron line will provide a match for anyone and Tampa will be keenly aware that this team are built to compete with anyone and grind them into the ground.

Could rest be key? Or will Boston enjoy being more match ready? Will they be better off from having a harder first match up?

All these questions will be answers, and it should make for a thrilling series!

Will the Leafs make the playoffs next season? Let us know in the comments section below.