NHL World Reacts To Toronto Maple Leafs Snapping Hilarious Playoff Series Drought

Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate

Getty Image / Mike Ehrmann

The Toronto Maple Leafs should be an NHL powerhouse. The Toronto metro area is one of the biggest in the NHL at nearly 6 million people. That’s a good number on its own, but when you consider that it’s probably the biggest market in the NHL where hockey is king, as it is in all of Canada, it should have a huge advantage over the rest of the league in a number of areas.

But, that has not played out on the ice. The Toronto Maple Leafs have had plenty of talent play for the team in the last two decades, but have been allergic to winning playoff series. Prior to the 2023 NHL Playoffs, The Leafs hadn’t won a playoff series since 2004.

That’s a pretty terrible streak on its own in a league where half of the teams make the NHL Playoffs every year. But, what makes it even more ridiculous is that they’ve had plenty of chances to win playoff series, only to never cash in. The Leafs had lost their last 10 series-clinching opportunities. If one argues the odds of winning any game is around 50%, to make the math very simple. That means, the odds of losing ten of these in a row, assuming each has an equal likelihood, is a remarkable 1/1024. Yet, they did it.

And, the streak looked to continue this year. After the Toronto Maple Leafs took a commanding 3-1 series lead by winning games 2-4, they had a chance to clinch at home on Thursday. But, they lost 4-2, and all of a sudden the doubts started to creep in.

That set up a crucial game 6 in Tampa on Saturday. And, to make the nerves even worse for Leafs fans, the game went to overtime.

But, John Tavares, a native Torontan hockey prodigy who left the New York Islanders in free agency in 2018 to come back home to Toronto, sent the Leafs to the 2nd round with an overtime goal that will be immortalized in the hearts of Toronto Maple Leafs fans forever.

Look at the reaction in downtown Toronto.

And, the party is still going on.

Many in the NHL world cannot believe the Toronto Maple Leafs actually sealed the deal. They have the talent, as Tavares is joined by other studs like Mitch Marner, Alexander Nylander, and Auston Matthews, but hadn’t gotten it done.

Now, the Toronto Maple Leafs will await the winner of the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers, who will play a game 7 on Sunday. The Bruins had arguably the best regular season in NHL history, setting the record for points and wins, but now face elimination.