TORONTO – SPORTS – The Toronto Maple Leafs have clinched a playoff spot. An overtime win over the Florida Panthers 3-2 has put the Leafs into the postseason for the second time in consecutive seasons.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have massive fan support across Northwestern Ontario. Clinching a playoff spot has Leafs’ fans across the region already dreaming that this might be the year. The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the original six National Hockey League teams, last won the Stanley Cup in 1967.
Last year the Leafs were in the postseason but lost to the Washington Capitals in six games. This year, the Leafs will face either the Boston Bruins, another of the original six, or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As a Leafs fan when I was a child, I still remember that 1967 Stanley Cup win. The memories of those ice heroes winning that year and the league expansion beyond the original six teams coming the following season were one of those times all Leafs Fans felt that maybe they were in on the start of a dynasty.
Since then, for many Toronto Maple Leafs fans, it has been a roller-coaster ride, with more disappointments than playoff wins. At the end of last season, however, hopes continued to remain eternal and from the start of this season, fans have been hoping that this year would be the one. Now looking forward to the post-season playoffs, that hope is stronger than ever.
Maybe, just maybe this will be the year that the Toronto Maple Leafs get their hands on Lord Stanley’s Mug, and bring it home to their long longing fans.
If they do, chances are the cheers will echo across Northwestern Ontario too.