Note from the author: I hit publish on this post right before the Leafs scored their first of three goals to tie Game 4 and avoid elimination. I’m not one to back down from any poor takes that I have. I’m not going to delete a post because I jumped the gun and posted something a few minutes too early. A lesser man would just delete the post and pretend that it didn’t exist but I’m not a lesser man. Also, there’s still no way Toronto wins the Cup this year so this post is still accurate.
2nd note from the author: HA! I was 100% right. Tavares missed an open net tonight, to boot.
Folks, in a tradition unlike any other, the Toronto Maple Leafs have failed to win a playoff series for the fourth year in a row when they qualify for the playoffs. It’s been sixteen years since the last time they won a round in the playoffs in 2004.
In 2004 when they won their fanbase couldn’t even go onto Facebook or Twitter and say unfathomably stupid things because most social media sites weren’t invented yet!! George W. Bush was still President in 2004 and he was in his first term! Insane stuff.
It’s been a long era of sucking for the Maple Leafs and it makes me so happy.
What’s even crazier is that John Tavares left the New York Islanders for the Toronto Maple Leafs two years ago and the Islanders have made it further than the Leafs have in the playoffs both years. If the Islanders had John Tavares then they’d be legitimate Cup contenders and nobody would be calling John Tavares a fraud but he made the decisions he made.
The Islanders and their fanbase are surely laughing at this fact but when it comes down to it, they’re still big losers in this too because as it stands now, their team has nowhere near enough offensive firepower to compete for the Cup.
Meanwhile, Toronto has the exact opposite problem. They’ve had plenty of offense on their team so bringing in Tavares for $11M per season when they were already cap challenged was a horrible decision. They needed defense then, they still need defense now, and these are the results that anyone rational would expect.
The cap crunch doesn’t get easier for the Leafs either as they have just $4.5M in cap space with a lot of guys on defense to re-sign like Tyson Barrie, Codi Ceci, and Travis Dermott. You could make the argument that their already mediocre defense is going to get even worse.
Realistically speaking, the Leafs are going to eventually win a playoff series but it won’t be because they gave John Tavares too much money when they didn’t have to. His contract will likely keep them from being able to consistently make deep playoff runs due to the resources that it took up.
He should feel stupid for choosing to sign with the Leafs instead of staying with the Islanders and the Leafs should feel stupid for making the flashy move instead of the correct decision and saying no.
Congratulations, John Tavares. You screwed over two franchises.