If you’re a Leafs fan you should be waking up this morning feeling much better about the team you support than you have for a long, long time going into the summer.
The Leafs are for real and even the Washington Capitals were offering up nothing but compliments to the team that pushed them for all six games of the first round series.
This was supposed to be a pretty easy time for the league’s best team against the inexperienced kids.
It was anything but.
Auston Matthews played well beyond his 19 years, same for Mitch Marner and William Nylander.
The Leafs have a number one goaltender in Frederik Andersen. They have a proven head coach who gets the most of his players and, with some maturity and an addition or two on the blue line, the Toronto Maple Leafs will soon be where the young Oilers are: a second round team with a legitimate shot at going to the Cup final.
So don’t hang your head too low Leaf fans after a heartbreaking overtime loss. The playoffs should now be almost an annual occurrence.
And when nobody predicted you being in the playoffs anyway, consider 2016-17 an overwhelming success