Leafs’ Loss – Are You Kidding Me?!

Andrea Freedman

When you become wrapped up in a sport, often too much hope, not to mention time, is poured into it. With another hockey season, one that was actually filled with promise, behind the Toronto Maple Leafs once again, and after their devastating loss to the Boston Bruins in game seven of round one of the playoffs, I find myself unable to stop shaking my head.

I did say that all I wanted was for the Leafs to make it into the playoffs this year. Finally, after nine frustrating seasons of disappointment, faithfully watching every game in the hopes that it would continue on into the late spring and early summer, the fans were finally given a break and, after an incredible comeback, a glimmer of hope that our beloved Leafs might somehow make it to the semi-finals.

Only one night before in game six, fans prepared themselves for the end of their hockey team’s season; but the Leafs surprised us and won, giving us hope for just one more night. I woke up thinking about it the next morning and was in a good mood all day.

That night every fan, whether watching at home or in Maple Leaf Square felt their adrenaline pumping as the clock ticked slowly in the third period of the game. I could feel and hear my heart beating. Could it be, finally, after all these years?

Loyal Toronto fans were on the edge of their seats or jumping up and down, many of us already eagerly anticipating watching the Leafs play in the beginning of the next round of the playoffs.

Alas, it was not to be. The hopes of fans around the city were shattered when things took a drastic turn and the Leafs, as well as their many, many supporters, were robbed of our collective dream yet again.

Rather than take their impending win and resulting advancement to the semi-finals, the Leafs became over-confident and focused too much on running down the clock in the second half of the third period, when they should have tried harder to score an empty-netted goal when they had the chance, almost ensuring them a win.

I felt like I was going to be sick. How could they have let this happen when victory was so closely within their grasp? How could they do this to us, especially with only minutes to go before they would have – and let’s face it, should have – won the game?

If the Leafs would have lost the game fair and square – although I cannot say I would have been that much happier than I was after this game seven – that would have been one thing; but to watch the Leafs lose control of a game that they had dominated at least in goals for the entire game up until that point, was something that no fan will soon forget.

When I woke up the next morning it was the first thing I thought of yet again. This time, I was not surprised that I was in a bad mood all day after that tragic loss, wishing that the clock could be turned back.

When I saw the look on Phil Kessel’s face when he was interviewed after the game I could feel his nausea, along with my own of course. Still, as much sympathy as I felt for him, I could not help but be a little angry and I dare say disgusted with him and the rest of the team at the same time.

I think some of us kept a low profile the day after the shocking loss to the Bruins, not wanting to even talk about it. After all, what was there to say?

After this monumental disappointment, will the fans go back for more next season? Of course we will. As much as some of us may protest to the contrary now, when the wound is still fresh, when the puck drops next fall who among Leaf fans will not find themselves hunkering down patiently yet again, just to see if our team makes it into the playoffs and if they do, if they could go out being remembered for something other than giving up an almost clear victory.

It just goes to show that nothing can be gained by being cocky even if it does appear that the team we have stood by all these years finally, after many frustrating losses in the past, has it in the bag. When it really matters most, every second counts and nothing can be left to chance.

I knew going into this year’s shortened hockey season, as I do every year, that anything can happen and there are no guarantees, certainly when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It will take a while to get over the game that began as a dream but turned into a catastrophe; nevertheless, I have a feeling that the memory of the Leafs’ heartbreaking loss, and the regret of what might have been, although most likely not forgotten, will sting a little less just in time for Toronto Maple Leafs fans to torture ourselves all over again next season.♦

Copyright © Andrea Freedman 2013

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About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on May 22, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. As a blog is supposed to be truthful, let me admit that I am the opposite of the stereotypical Leafs’ fan — fickle and quick to jump on the bandwagon. I admitedly don’t have the intestinal fortitude to watch the Canadiens lose, either during a game or during a stretch of time. I will be overjoyed when they win and when they are doing well and look elsewhere when they don’t dominate or surprise us with wins.

    Err, sorry. I admire you and your constant support.

    Like

  2. Phil and Gloria Freedman

    I can understand exactly how you feel. I, not being an enthusiastic fan, really was excited about the possibility of the Leafs actually winning game 7, and when they lost, I felt deflated. Hopefully, we’ll get another chance at stardom next year.

    Like

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