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The Rite of Spring (AKA 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Thread)


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13 minutes ago, LakeShow24 said:

Up 3-1 wow. That's a national embarrassment.

 

On the other hand, down 3-1.  That's a national triumph for the same nation!

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34 minutes ago, See Red said:

 

On the other hand, down 3-1.  That's a national triumph for the same nation!

 

Ooooo, a significant portion of Quebec definitely doesn't agree with that statement.

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4 hours ago, MDGP said:

 

Ooooo, a significant portion of Quebec definitely doesn't agree with that statement.

It’s not a “significant portion” just the dumbass vocal minority who want Quebec to be a separate state

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9 hours ago, TrueYankee26 said:

Blowing large playoff leads to your most hated rival. New York Yankees fans can relate, Leafs fans. We were you 199 months ago.

If you are a fan of the Yankees, Celtics, or Packers, other fans really don't want to hear how you 'relate',

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1 hour ago, Sec19Row53 said:

If you are a fan of the Yankees, Celtics, or Packers, other fans really don't want to hear how you 'relate',


Former Sharks fan here, so I can kinda relate! 
 

ice hockey hello GIF by NHL
 

Poor Joe Thornton. Guy can’t even ring chase well!

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10 hours ago, Brass said:

Lauzon with the most beer-league play I’ve ever seen. Onwards and upwards from here, Bruins...

 

He giveth and he taketh. Saved the game earlier in the OT, too. Just an absolutely boneheaded play. Speaking of boneheads, what the hell happened to Mike Reilly last night? Brilliant performance against the Caps, and tonight he looked clueless on multiple occasions.

 

Isles deserved it so I can't be mad, they controlled the pace and had a ton of quality chances. Tuukka did what he could and stopped it from being an embarrassing scoreline.

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2 hours ago, dont care said:

It’s not a “significant portion” just the dumbass vocal minority who want Quebec to be a separate state

 

In 1995 the Quebec sovereignty vote failed ~50%-49% and modern polling on the matter shows that anywhere from 25% to 40% of the population still support it. That's a pretty damn significant percentage of the population.

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Sorry, Leafs fans. That is one of the more brutal playoff exits I can remember. They looked scared sh!!less that entire game, then started panicking when Montreal scored the first one, and you can't play good hockey when you're playing not to lose. At the same time, I still think what I said last August when they lost in the bubble to the Blue Jackets remains true - analytically they're a sound offensive team, but goaltending and defense are missing the key studs you need to win a cup (or a round, apparently). And I hate to say they lack grit and truculence, but they lack grit and truculence. 

 

I have nothing to offer except condolences and the promise that I'll try not to laugh too hard.

 

  

9 hours ago, IceCap said:

I've had it. This is the team that, back in 2000, I cried over when they lost to the Devils. 
It was "just sports" but to young me it felt like the gut punch of gut punches. If only I knew. 

 

:censored: this team. :censored: them and this endless meme of failure. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the "lol 1967" crap. I'm tired of the constant first round choke jobs. I was in high school the last time this team won a first round series. And not even grade 12! 2004! 
And finally :censored: ing finally the stars align. A weak Montreal team they go up 3-1 in dominating fashion and what happens? What happens? They lose two straight OT games and then lay an egg at home. They looked like they were playing the Sabres in December! Not playing a game seven in the Stanly :censored: Cup Playoffs! 

I'm tired of being on the butt end of jokes. I'm tired of the constant underachieving. I'm tired of seeing teams break through while we wallow in this nonsense. 
I'm tired of all of it. Hockey is supposed to be fun, but instead it's nothing but frustration, mismanagement, and pain. I'm done. 
:censored: you, Toronto Maple Leafs. :censored: you, NHL. :censored: you, hockey. 

 

 

This is how I felt when the Bengals blew the wildcard game in 2015 to the Steelers. I've never really cared about sports the same way since and I've kept emotions at a distance. One thing that I've found that helps is embracing the failure and owning it as a badge of honor. Any run of the mill dumbass can be a Pittsburgh Penguins fan (and many are!). That's living life on easy mode. Fans of bad teams should be revered. 

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This seems to have been the loss for many Leafs fans.  I know it's easy to cash out and move on, but can you really blame anyone?  One Leafs streamer went on a diatribe last night about how uncles, grandfathers, parents, and the old wear Leafs sweaters, but younger Toronto kids are donning Ovi, Crosby, Toews, etc.  They're aware of what losers the Leafs are and aren't keen on getting lumped in.  It was depressing to listen to.

 

The entire r/Leafs subreddit is now dedicated to being a Maple Leaf Foods sub out of pure shame.


I'm curious to see what Mike says about the Marner stuff.  It seems to be of the core that he'd be the sacrificial lamb.  Blood for the blood god.

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Man, this has to be one of the agonizing playoff exits for the Leafs. Maybe not as agonizing as the 1993 conference finals, but it must be above the 2013 series against Boston. I am sure, somewhere, there is some website that has a ranking of most agonizing Leafs playoff exits.

 

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Is there any comparison of a premiere franchise in the big four going so long without a title?

 

I suppose you could say the Red Sox, but I'd argue they didn't up a level until 2004. That and the Yankees are the Leafs analog; not the Sox.

 

The Lakers went a decade between titles; the Celtics won in 2008. The Yankees are sitting on 2009 and the Dodgers just won. I'm not sure who the premiere NFL team is, but the Giants, Packers, Pats and Steelers have all won in recent memory.

 

I guess it's the Knicks? But that feels like a different kind of pain there.

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1 hour ago, MDGP said:

In 1995 the Quebec sovereignty vote failed ~50%-49% 

And then the Francophones blamed the blacks and Jews. 

 

34 minutes ago, CS85 said:

This seems to have been the loss for many Leafs fans.  I know it's easy to cash out and move on, but can you really blame anyone?

I'm done. With the Leafs, and hockey. I guess you could say "just be a Lightning fan," but :censored: that. Moving to Tampa actually made me a Bucs fan, but it made the Lightning more insufferable. Team of system cheating goobers, the lot of 'em. 

I'd sooner be a Panthers fan if I had to trade the Leafs in for a Florida team, but they got knocked out in the first round with a wet fart too. 

 

Like I said, hockey's supposed to be fun. And it just isn't. There are pictures of me as a baby in Leafs gear for :censored:'s sake and what has any of it meant? 

I'm fed up with this team and the whole G-ddamn sport. 

 

The Bucs won a Super Bowl. That was pretty cool! 
I've been a Raptors fan since day one, and watching them win the NBA Championship was probably the greatest moment of my sports fandom. 

The Blue Jays haven't won a WS since 1993, but the mid 2010s team went on a couple of deep playoff runs and gave me some cool memories. 

 

What have the Leafs ever done for me? Nothing. :censored: 'em. And :censored: hockey. 

 

49 minutes ago, Sport said:

This is how I felt when the Bengals blew the wildcard game in 2015 to the Steelers. I've never really cared about sports the same way since and I've kept emotions at a distance. One thing that I've found that helps is embracing the failure and owning it as a badge of honor. Any run of the mill dumbass can be a Pittsburgh Penguins fan (and many are!). That's living life on easy mode. Fans of bad teams should be revered. 

That's one reason why I'm not taking the advice from...pretty much everyone...to become a Lightning fan. That would feel so cheap. 

 

But yeah...I'm in this boat, I think. Like... Andy mentioned he wants to hear what I have to say about the Marner thing...and I just don't care. They can hit the reset button, sign or cut whoever...none of it means anything and I'm not inclined to care until they actually put together a team worth a damn. 

 

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24 minutes ago, IceCap said:

And then the Francophones blamed the blacks and Jews. 


Yup, it was the “ethnic vote,” as PQ doofuses called it. If we’re speaking about separatist drama, it’s a big reason why the Expos flopped as a team. 


On another note: I am now a former Sharks fan. I gave up with the team the past few years, due to fading interest and just my frustration with their direction since the reverse sweep. The fluke of a cup finals appearance delayed a much-needed rebuild. It was just annoying pain. I kind of stayed with the Sharks for the memes and joking at their expense, but at some point, memes aren’t enough. It’s like being a Nostalgia Critic fan after 2014 - the continued awfulness isn’t gonna keep you there.

 

I fell in with the Blackhawks and then the Avs, shifting with my Milwaukee-to-Denver move. Neither one has felt truly authentic, since it’s more of a location and convenience thing. I guess hockey isn’t my thing anymore. Or it never really was my jam.

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40 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

Is there any comparison of a premiere franchise in the big four going so long without a title?

 

I suppose you could say the Red Sox, but I'd argue they didn't up a level until 2004. That and the Yankees are the Leafs analog; not the Sox.

 

The Lakers went a decade between titles; the Celtics won in 2008. The Yankees are sitting on 2009 and the Dodgers just won. I'm not sure who the premiere NFL team is, but the Giants, Packers, Pats and Steelers have all won in recent memory.

 

I guess it's the Knicks? But that feels like a different kind of pain there.

No it's gotta be the Knicks. I can't think of another comparison. Both teams have dealt with terrible ownership ruining multiple generations of fans and players, both teams play in what is effectively the capital of their sport, both teams sell out regardless of how good or bad the team is, both teams players face tough media and fan scrutiny, and their championship droughts are of similar length. 

 

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1 hour ago, CS85 said:

This seems to have been the loss for many Leafs fans. 

41 years old, Leafs fan since 1987. 

 

I am not done with them but this is THE loss for me. 

 

Just disgusted. 

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1 hour ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

Is there any comparison of a premiere franchise in the big four going so long without a title?

 

I suppose you could say the Red Sox, but I'd argue they didn't up a level until 2004. That and the Yankees are the Leafs analog; not the Sox.

 

The Lakers went a decade between titles; the Celtics won in 2008. The Yankees are sitting on 2009 and the Dodgers just won. I'm not sure who the premiere NFL team is, but the Giants, Packers, Pats and Steelers have all won in recent memory.

 

I guess it's the Knicks? But that feels like a different kind of pain there.

 

I would say the Knicks as well. But at least the Knicks have made the finals since they last won the title.

As painful of a loss as this is, I still say 1993,1994 and 1999 were more agonizing.  The Leafs have had their chances in conference finals with, arguably, good enough teams that should have made it to the finals. 

 

And if there is still any consolation, the Lightning were embarrassed in 2019, but came back to win in 2020.  

Maybe cooler heads will prevail and will make the right changes to come back next year.  Yes, they did blow a huge series lead, but they did lose Tavares which is a big loss.  We're not talking about a team that needs to be blown up and start all over, but they do need to make changes. Perhpas, Thornton and Spezza will be replaced with other veterans. 

 

Maybe it's not as long of a drought, but the Cowboys are starting to reach that territory. 

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1 hour ago, IceCap said:

That's one reason why I'm not taking the advice from...pretty much everyone...to become a Lightning fan. That would feel so cheap. 

 

I wouldn't expect that and I wouldn't want that. They've been a division rival of the Leafs for the better part of the decade, which doesn't really mean much of anything itself in terms of a rivalry, but they've both been good teams fighting for playoff positioning between each other for about five years now. And the Lightning with their Maple Leaf-"inspired" uniforms surely doesn't help. Trust me, nothing would make me a Leafs fan if I moved to Toronto and I generally hate the logic some people have about the "you should root for the teams where you live" idea. That's a personal choice.

 

Regardless, even besides what I wrote the other night about it being better from my selfish perspective if the Leafs were to win, I really didn't take any pleasure in watching that last night. I'm not Canadian, I don't have to deal with Canadian media unless I actively seek it out, so I don't have the reason a lot of Canadians have to hate the Leafs due to extreme media oversaturation. That was just a sad development to watch last night in general. That the Leafs could have such an overwhelmingly better roster, have brought in the supposed veteran leadership they brought in, and even that wasn't enough to prevent such an incredible meltdown from occurring, against their oldest rival at that. Just embarrassing. There's no cold comfort take from "well, it's not like they would've beaten the Avs anyway" because this isn't a problem about being unable to win the Cup, it's a problem with winning literally a single :censored: ing playoff series. The Browns won a playoff game a few months ago! We're talking Knicks here but even the Knicks have won a playoff series or two in the last decade, as hard as that is to believe. The Leafs can't even do that much with some of the great players they have on their roster and some of the resources they have at their disposal. 

 

And I can't even try to end this post on a courteous note, either, because the Leafs and Lightning are back in the same division next year. I can't say "hopefully the Leafs finally get one next year, for the sanity of their fans" if those two are first round opponents, you know? I guess I'll just say that I hope the thought counts is all.

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I'm looking back at this core's playoff appearances and YIKES

 

2017 - NKOTB scrappy competitive showing against Washington, but lost in 6. 5 of the 6 games went to overtime and the Leafs actually led the series 2 games to 1. Caps won games 5 and 6 in OT that easily could've coin flipped the Leafs way. I remember Leafs fans feeling pretty good about the future of the team at that point. 

 

2018 - lose in 7 to Boston, but the Bruins felt in control most of that series even as the Leafs came back from down 3-1. Cracks starting to show, patience wearing thin. 

 

2019 - Leafs had a 2-1 series lead and a 3-2 series lead. They're a good team going punch for punch with the Bruins who then hit them with a 4-2 win in game 6 in Toronto and then a 5-1 win in game 7 in Boston in which the Leafs looked similarly Dead Team Walking as they did last night. 

 

2020 - Babcock fired midseason. Bubble qualifying round against an unremarkable Blue Jackets team.  I didn't even expect this. Leafs and Jackets split the first two games with shutouts. In Game 3 the Blue Jackets came back from 3-0 to win 4-3 in overtime. In Game 4 the Leafs found themselves down 3-0 with 4 minutes left before completing their own ridiculous comeback to win in OT. In the deciding game 5 I fully expected the Leafs to ride that momentum and put the pesky Blue Jackets away and finally eliminate someone in a series. They got shutout by Joonas Korpisalo and lost 3-0. 

 

2021 - Montreal Meltdown. 

 

5 straight series losses in which they've been the underdog, favorite, had series leads, had to comeback, basically every situation. And it doesn't matter. Normally I hate "BLOW IT UP" guy, but I would be willing to listen to them in this case. 

 

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