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Leafs’ collapse will haunt Lupul until the day he dies

May 14, 2013, 2:46 PM EDT

Which tends to happen when your team has a 4-1 lead halfway through the third period of Game 7, then blows it.

Especially when your team was making its first playoff appearance since 2004, and was playing a Boston side that had absolutely dominated it the past few years.

The question now is, will last night’s experience hurt the Leafs or help them? Some teams build on painful losses (1984 Oilers, 2009 Penguins); others have more trouble recovering psychologically.

Disappointment aside, there were a lot of good things Toronto can take from that series. James Reimer was mostly fantastic in goal. Jake Gardiner was a whirlwind on defense. The Leafs as a whole showed great team speed.

Toronto also has youth on its side. Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, Nazem Kadri, Gardiner, and Reimer are all under 30.

What’s not clear is if they have a “great” player — the kind that can lead them to a Stanley Cup. A top-line center is something general manager Dave Nonis desperately needs to acquire, but that’s easier said than done. Even if Tyler Bozak re-signs, asking him to fill that role is a lot to ask of the undrafted 27-year-old.

  1. imleftcoast - May 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Henrik Sedin?

  2. jpelle82 - May 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    crazy. one for the history books, especially if boston goes on to the finals this year. i would think everyone on the team would be having nightmares for a long time….everyone except phaneuf – he’s too busy having nightmares about sean avery….zing

  3. imleftcoast - May 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    In retrospect, a Leafs’ timeout after the 4-3 goal would have been a good idea.

    • steverolley - May 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Boston called a time out. were they supposed to do the old double time out?

      • andrewproughcfe - May 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Apparently, yes they were supposed to call the old double time out. Looks like the single time out didn’t help very much.

        Congrats Bruins. You got 3 or 4 of the luckiest BS goals I’ve ever seen last night. Enjoy the fruits of your labor – a crushing at the hands of the Rangers.

      • rogersjd16 - May 14, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        So Andrew – a wrist shot potted off a very nice feed from behind the net (by a note sniper), a rebound off a great point shot (by a net presence), a beautiful wrist shot from the point through a screen by the tallest man to ever play the game, and a forward doing what forwards should do, crashing the net for rebounds and burying them, are all “lucky BS” goals?

        Man, would love to know what a skilled, earned, no luck goal is in your world. Wonder who you root for.

      • sens101 - May 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        Andrew is still shocked and in denial obv…the leafs played good for 50 min and deserved to win. But they are the victims of their own demise. Why go into a “prevent” defense with 10 min left in the game? That what happens when your young and in-experienced in playoff hockey. I watched MTL do the same thing in game 4 of round 1 when they were up 2-0. I would almost say Toronto deserved to win…but they didnt because they stopped playing during the most crucial 10 min of the series.

      • sens101 - May 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        *didnt deserve to win…

      • tdsnbeers - May 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Yeah Andrew, I don’t know how you justify the Boston goals were crap goals? Sore Loser? But either way you must be a leafs fan, because we know there are alot of them, bound to show up in these comment sections.
        Actually sent a text to a Leafs fan that I know, saying “now that Boston is out, blah blah blah” and I jinxed it for you.
        Leafs were terrible in the last 15 minutes of that game, they didn’t even deserve to be in the playoffs. Granted, they were tired, and it became keep-away for boston, so I don’t think those goals were bad.
        What do you call Toronto’s goals? I’ll talk about the few I remember, Kessel’s backdoor rebound? Kessel’s shot then Kadri buying it? How were thos goals any different than Boston’s goals…

        Say good game and look forward to next year, you guys are super young, and you should learn from that. Don’t represent your fan base improperly, granted that was great hockey for all of us to watch.

      • andrewproughcfe - May 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        No, I’m not a Leafs fan. If you think most of those shots were anything but luck, you are going to be very upset at what the Rangers do to you.

      • imleftcoast - May 14, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Having watched similar meltdowns against Boston and Chicago, you fake your own death if it gives you a full minute.

        Chara hustling to the front of the net on the third goal was pretty funny. The guy looked exhausted at times, but totally dedicated to that comeback.

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Jake Gardiner will probably have nightmares because of the pass he made onto Bergeron’s stick just before the winning goal. Ouch! That’s gotta sting!

    • jpelle82 - May 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      was just a matter of time for him, he was playing with reckless abandon out there. take the good with the bad i guess…at least they set him free right?

      • tdsnbeers - May 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        I don’t think they should have set him free, he was great for his first NHL games? He looked like a risky defenseman, if you can tame him down, he will be great for the organizations.

      • andrewsabourin13 - May 14, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        @tdsnbeers- played great for his first NHL Games? I hope by first games you mean his first 87 games… Or did you forget he made the all rookie team last year and had 30 points?

      • andrewsabourin13 - May 14, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        He played better than anyone expected in the playoffs too btw

  5. pastabelly - May 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    The Bruins blew a 3-0 lead against the Flyers, including a three goal lead in Game 7 and came back and won the Cup the following year. Of course, they didn’t have Krejci for any of the losses, or Seidenberg or Thomas at all when they blew that series.

    • rogersjd16 - May 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Thank you. I was wondering how arguably the biggest (series) collapse of all-time followed by raising the Cup the following year was not an example listed above.

      • dropthepuckeh - May 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Because the writer is a Canucks fan….

      • Jason Brough - May 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Yeah, it was an intentional oversight. That’ll show those Bruins. Revenge!
        (Or maybe I just picked two teams that lost in the Cup finals one year, then came back and won it the next year.)

      • itsallniceonice - May 14, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Your argument sucks Jason. You left out the Bruins collapse because the didn’t lose in the finals but you compare it to the Leafs 1st round loss.

        (Or maybe you are a complete Canucks homer. Couldn’t be any more apparent in your “analysis” more often than not.)

      • Jason Brough - May 14, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        Show me where I’ve been a homer. I’d be curious to see that.
        I cited two famous examples that popped to mind as I wrote. The Bruins’ example would’ve worked too. You assume that I intentionally left it out because of some loyalty to the Canucks, which is wrong, insulting, and just plain ridiculous.
        Seriously, just think about that for a second.
        I’ll look forward to reading all the examples of my Canucks homerism. Maybe you can send them to all the people that have accused me of ripping them too much.

  6. tfaltin - May 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    There are a lot of “I can’t believe that just happened” moments in sports. Reggie Miller erasing the Knicks, Luis Gonzalez bloop single to win the World Series, Ty Law’s pick-6 to get the Pats headed towards the 01-02 Super Bowl, and the David Tyree catch are just a few that stick out in my (northeast focused) mind. None of those even come close to approaching what the Bruins did last night. I’m still grappling with it, I went to the Bruins-Rangers game where they did the same thing, and I still dont know how last night happened. If ANYTHING went differently, it was a loss and the run at a comeback would’ve been forgotten at the feet of the David v Goliath upset.

  7. chuchie414 - May 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I don’t know which under 30 player was better Nazem Kadri or Nazem Kadri

  8. vipod4ever - May 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    For some Leaf fans the excuse/denial list will be long. But, at the end of the day…..Death, Taxes, and the Leafs not since ’67

    • imleftcoast - May 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      And only twice as many Stanley Cups as Colin Campbell’s Boston Bruins.

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