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FTB: The Leafs start to sort out what to do next

Is the sun now setting on this team as it is constructed, or is it now rising for one last chance?

Sunrise Behind the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada
Is this a sunset or a sunrise? You actually can tell if you know your Toronto landmarks well enough.
Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

I still feel a brain fog from Saturday’s game #7 loss. I haven’t had time to even think about what the team should be doing now, though plenty of people appear to have their takes in hand, and a lot of them aren’t what I would expect, though I also don’t disagree with them.

The emerging narrative seems to be that you have to give this management group and the team as constructed “one last chance,” in part because there does not seem to be a viable path to changing the team through trading or signing players that would actually make it better immediately, but also in part because they earned it since this game #7 wasn’t like those other game #7’s. This is quite a change from the start of this season where it was widely talked about as a “do or die” season for Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe. That can feels like it was somehow kicked a year down the road through this loss to the Lightning.

However, in order to get that one last chance, the team, and us fans, will have to sit through that entire 82 game regular season all over again, which is so very unappealing to even think about right now. All those silly Tuesday night games in November against the Coyotes or Ducks, or whichever teams are dregs of the league next year, only to then finally get a redo of the playoffs.

It’s like a version of the movie Groundhog Day that lasts for an entire year. How do you break out of that cycle?

We have our collective thoughts in this new roundtable article:

At some point this week, there will be a locker room clean-out and media day where we will get some player quotes—this could be today even, I don’t know the schedule—but otherwise, I think it will be pretty quiet on the news front this week until then.

Other Series

The first round wound up with two game sevens last night and both were settled in OT

The Rangers defeated the Penguins.

The Flames defeated the Stars.

So the second round matches are now set as follows:

  • Flames vs. Oilers
  • Avalanche vs. Blues
  • Rangers vs. Hurricanes
  • Panthers vs. Lightning

My picks for the winners are the Flames, Avalanche, Hurricanes and Lightning. The second round starts tomorrow night.