My oh my, the Leafs are playing meaningful games in April. It’s been a long time coming, although we made it a few years ago it feels like its been forever! To be honest I didn’t think this would be happening so soon, I figured maybe next season or the year after. I’m glad to be completely wrong.

I think its important for Leafs nation to not get their hopes up too much, I would LOVE for the Leafs to go deep into the playoffs… But I wouldn’t be too upset if they didn’t. This season to me has been all about growth. So many young players are in the lineup and they need to learn what it takes to be an NHL pro. From little things like what to do without the puck, how to hold on to 2 goal 3rd period leads and now what it takes to compete against the best of the best in the playoffs.

This time of year is totally different from the regular season, its fast, gritty, and full of sacrifice. The only way to learn to handle the pressure of the playoffs is to be thrown into the deep end. Facing the Capitals is definitely the deep end, but seeing how much this team has surprised me and all of us I have a feeling they will adjust quickly.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this young Leafs team can do when faced with adversity. Can the big 3 take their game to another level? What about Freddie? Can Rielly show that offensive flare and athleticism that he showed in junior and was a major reason we drafted him? It’s a great problem to have and I cant wait to see what happens… Good or bad.

Whether we win in 7 or lose in 4 games, I consider this season a success and the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs has never been brighter! With Babcock behind the bench I know every player will be playing their heart out. Coach Babcock has been instilling hard work into the whole team and is the perfect fit for such a young team. I want to see emotion if things are rough, get mad and make something happen for the team. This is the time for the future leaders of this team to step up and take charge. Who’s it going to be?

My prediction for the Leafs vs Capitals… I wish it was as easy as saying oh Leafs win blah blah blah.. But it’s not. If the Leafs hold back and try to just hold onto leads(assuming they get one) then I think Caps in 5. BUT if the Leafs step up and show their heart and a little bit of grit to go along with their skill I’m thinking Leafs in 7.

Let me know what you think the outcome of the series will be!

TML Hockey Talk