Leafs face another long summer of second-guessing after devastating Game 7 loss

Friday, 26 Apr, 2019

As you can see, Bergeron seemingly went out of his way to score in this instance, with absolutely no "need" to do so.

The loyal fans proudly rocked his and her Maple Leaf black caps while making their inside the airport, hand in hand. Because when it comes to Toronto reciprocating Kadri's love, well, maybe the city needs a little break to re-evaluate the relationship. They rebuilt themselves nearly from scratch, signing Tavares for big money and backing up the Brink's truck for both William Nylander and Auston Matthews, all the while Mitch Marner was becoming an All-Star. GM Kyle Dubas is between a rock and a hard place - self administered, I might add - knowing that he is going to have to make Marner the team's third-highest paid player behind Matthews and Tavares.

Dubas went in search of reinforcements after that loss, with his biggest successes being the signing of John Tavares to a $77 million contract in free agency and the trade for Jake Muzzin in January that cost Toronto a 2019 first-round pick and two prospects. Joakim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly kicked in goals from the fourth line, Marcus Johansson provided the eventual game-winner in the first period and Charlie Coyle got an empty-netter late in the third period. He didn't mention that he just might have been simmering over a knee-on-knee hit between him and DeBrusk earlier in the game. Another promising season capped by yet another first-round exit - and once again it came down to a Game 7 in Boston.

The 28-year-old, who didn't speak to the media and along with Dermott finished minus-3, might have played his final game for Toronto with unrestricted free agency looming July 1. "You know we have some guys that have had some similar reactions over their times. You were trying to stand up for a teammate, but it went bad on you", Babcock said.

"One of the few times I've been in the Garden where it hasn't been one of our games", Stevens said.

"I think the way I look at that is [team president Brendan Shanahan] has to decide on me first, to do an evaluation of me, which I think any organization would be best to do", Dubas said during locker cleanout day at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.

"Like I said, it was a bit of a different play". Kadri said he was attempting to jab DeBrusk on the arm, but connected with his face instead.

"We felt we needed a certain type of lineup to beat Toronto and we finally got that", said Boston coach Bruce Cassidy. Calgary and Winnipeg previously lost their first-round series. It changes some chemistry. "It's a special group to be a part of". As it did for most of the season. They were young and talented and appealing to watch.

How concerned is Kadri, drafted to his hometown team 10 years ago this June, that his future in Toronto is now in jeopardy?

"I wish there was a formula", he said. "I want to be here". The only thing obvious about the play was that Kadri can not control himself. And Dubas says the club will help him with his character challenges. "I was able to skate". The other thing, he's usually ready before the (injury) time line. I found myself close to the net and figured I'd put it on net. They were huge goals, too.