Buds GM Dave Nonis decided to celebrate this moment (and thank fans for sticking things out since their last postseason berth in 2004) by sending an open letter to Leafs devotees. Here are a few of the highlights (click this link for the full letter).
“On behalf of the entire Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for your continued loyalty and support.
Leafs fans are the most passionate and dedicated in all of hockey.
Your presence at Air Canada Centre and in our opponent’s rinks does not go unnoticed.
You are valued members of our team.”
One almost expected a group hug to follow that letter.
Certain aspects of playoff positioning are still up for grabs in the East, yet you can’t blame the Maple Leafs for taking a little victory lap here and there.
Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat