Love them or hate them, there is no arguing that the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most popular and most storied franchises in NHL history. Every generation of Leafs fan has their favourite players, and with over 100 years of history to draw from, their is a great diversity. The Leafs are a rarity amongst pro-sports; in the sense that they haven't won the NHL's Championship since 1967 (I know Leafs fans - we have heard it a lot over the years) a drought that is outmatched by very few other professional North American sports teams. When you look around you, there is Leafs fans of all ages which goes to show that the team is more than just a team but it has become apart of Canadian culture.
If we take a step back from this overall perspective and look at just recent memory, many can see the angst and frustration of the fans in recent seasons (especially this time around) - a team with so much potential on paper but one that many would agree is under performing. There is however, many takeaways from this season no matter how it ends, one of which being with Auston Matthews and his pursuit of 50 goals - a feat that has only been accomplished 3 times in Leafs history despite the 100+ years of players. Matthews was compared to Joe Sakic coming out of the draft, and to this point some may have wondered if he was reaching his potential - we can all agree though this season, he has arrived.
As the 2019-20 season winds to it's eventual close Leafs nation has a couple burning questions. Will we see the Leafs in the playoffs for a 4th consecutive year? Will they advance past the 1st round for the first time in over a decade?
My message to Leafs fans is simple: just enjoy this roller coaster ride we get to experience but try and stay level headed. The NHL season is very unpredictable and one that you could describe as a mystery bag, as you never know who could finish the season with a Stanley Cup victory.