The blue-chip Maple Leafs brand has survived bad seasons in the past. But 2014-15 took its toll.
"I'll tell you there's a bunch of us down here that are losing sleep about it," said Dave Hopkinson, chief commercial officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
Toronto finished 27th in the league with a 30-44-8 record, losing 34 of its last 43 games and finishing with the NHL's worst road record (8-27-6).
VANCOUVER - The Calgary Flames are heading home and facing adversity for the first time in many of their young playoff careers.
The Vancouver Canucks staved off elimination Thursday with a 2-1 victory in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarter-final, forcing a Game 6 back in Calgary with the Flames holding a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Calgary came into the game with unquestionable momentum after having outplayed the Canucks for most of its two home wins in Game 3 and 4.
VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks still have a pulse in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Daniel Sedin scored early in the third period Thursday as the Canucks avoided elimination with a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarter-final.
Vancouver still trails the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Saturday in Calgary.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Predators picked a perfect time for their first win when facing elimination from the playoffs.
Rookie Filip Forsberg had his first career hat trick and the first in Nashville's post-season history as the Predators forced a sixth game in their first-round Western Conference series by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 Thursday night.
Washington 5 N.Y. Islanders 1
(Washington leads series 3-2)
Tampa Bay 3 Detroit 2 (OT)
(series tied 2-2)
Nashville 5 Chicago 2
(Chicago leads series 3-2)
Vancouver 2 Calgary 1
(Calgary leads series 3-2)
Cleveland 103 Boston 95
(Cleveland leads series 3-0)
Chicago 113 Milwaukee 106 (2OT)
(Chicago leads series 3-0)
Golden State 123 New Orleans 119 (OT)
(Golden State leads series 3-0)
CHICAGO - Benches cleared at the end of the seventh inning of Thursday's game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.
Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura snagged a grounder from Chicago outfielder Adam Eaton and the pair appeared to exchange words before Ventura threw to first to end the inning. After the play, players from both dugouts and bullpens ran onto the field. Several punches were thrown.
DETROIT - The Tampa Bay Lightning spent all season showing they could score goals in bunches, and with a first-round playoff series seemingly slipping away, Tyler Johnson led their most important flurry yet.
Johnson scored 2:25 into overtime to lift the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night that evened their series at 2-2.
WASHINGTON - With some fist pumps and a punch of the glass, Washington Capitals rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrated the first playoff goal of his long-thought-promising career.
By the time the 22-year-old Russian netted his second, the crowd's raucous chants of "We are louder!" were ringing throughout the arena as a bunch of secondary scoring put Washington on the verge of eliminating the New York Islanders.
TORONTO - Drew Hutchison may have been flirting with a perfect game for five innings, but he didn't notice.
He struck out seven over eight innings as the Toronto Blue Jays routed the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 on Thursday to complete a three-game series sweep.
"I think you're just out there concentrating on one guy at a time," said Hutchison when asked about the possibility of a perfect game after retiring the first 15 batters he faced. "I wasn't really thinking about it."
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau is thrilled to be named a Calder Trophy finalist. He's got bigger things to think about right now, though.
"It's definitely exciting for me at this time of the year, but it's playoff time as well," Gaudreau said earlier this week in the midst of Calgary's first-round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks. "I think that's something you've got to be focused on a little bit more."