In a season where the young Maple Leafs have exceed expectations, We find ourselves biting our nails and full of nervous anxiety as the team faces its most grueling and most difficult two games of the year. I will have to admit, I never saw this at the start of the season when I posted the blog “You’re Talking Playoffs? I would have been content with the team finishing in the 9-11 spot in the conference and for me that would have meant huge progress. In the Month of March which saw the team go 11-5-2, I found myself getting greedy, I had dreams of home ice advantage and a top 2 finish in the division beating out Ottawa Senators and my attention was pulled into could they make it to the second round.
My how quickly expectations change when emotion and not logic take over. That is truly the sin of any fan when things go well we imagine what could be, and when things get difficult as they have after games against Washington and Tampa Bay our mindset changes to how things could have been. But what is lost in all this is how the Maple Leafs control their destiny, they need to take advantage of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets teams that will probably rest some of their key players in anticipation of their open round match up against each other. One win is all that is needed and the Maple Leafs are in the playoffs, What happened in the games against Washington and Tampa Bay would mean nothing in the grand scheme of the entire season as the Maple Leafs would be in the playoffs.
There are so many scenarios where this can go sideways and the Maple Leafs find themselves on the outside looking in, Islanders run the table over the next couple of days and/or Tampa Bay Lightning do the same with the @MapleLeafs losing both games. What if this happens, has this year been a total loss? Do we lose sight on what has been a record breaking year for all the rookies? Do we lose sight on the growth and development of this latest group of young Maple Leafs? I would hate for that to be the case when we remove emotion from what will happen over the next two days, if we catch ourselves soon enough, perspective will reign supreme and the anxiety and angst will pass.
What has brought this emotional fan back to earth? Well this team hasn’t been known to have 3 bad games in a row, and Mike Babcock and the veterans on this team will undoubtedly do their best to calm the waters in room as the rookies begin to feel the enormity of their current situation. The acquisition of Brian Boyle and having veterans like Frederik Andersen, Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk can only improve the response we see from our boys in blue tomorrow and I expect a better push back from this team than we have seen the last couple of games. So buckle up #LeafsNation things are about to go from zero to one hundred real quick.