Devastation is what you can call this kind of feeling hovering over Leafs Nation right now. It’s one thing to know that your team is eliminated, but it’s another to actually see it happen.
It was just a matter of time. For the past month everyone has been be-LEAF-ing and saying we still had a chance to make it to the playoffs (no thanks to Carolina and Buffalo). But I think deep down, everyone knew it was coming but no one wanted to admit it.
To support your team through thick and thin, ups and downs, injuries and controversial trades, players’ slumps, losing streaks, winning streaks, the boos from fans at home, and of course the waffle tossing, “elimination” is definitely something that’s hard to accept. It’s the worst feeling in the world and a feeling that’s tremendously hard to swallow.
The Leafs played their heart and soul out for the past few months barely clinging on to any playoff hope. Just when we thought the playoffs were out of reach, the Leafs surprised everyone after the All-Star break and began winning the games that mattered the most. Every game for the past month was a “must win” and every win brought us closer and closer. Even watching the standings and knowing that you couldn’t do anything about it except pray for the Rangers, Hurricanes, and Sabres to lose was nerve-wracking enough. Unfortunately those teams knew how high the stakes were and kept racking up points which made it even harder for us to catch up. I would use four words to sum up this season: emotional roller coaster ride.
Like I said earlier, this is definitely hard to accept. It will take a few days for Leafs fans to really process this and move on. But for now, let me crawl into my hole with my Maple Leafs jersey and cry ......