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Credit To Toronto's Core Four To Honouring Maple Leafs Of The Past And Simply Refusing To Score Goals In The 2nd Round Of The Playoffs

Eliot J. Schechter. Getty Images.

History is one of the most under-appreciated aspects of the game. I think the sign of a truly great franchise is if they not only have a great history, but also celebrate and honor those traditions of the past. It's important to pay homage and respect to those who have come before you, because who's to say anybody would be where they are today without them?

You think about all of those historic Leafs teams from after the lockout until this season. You think about some of the guys from those rosters and what they mean to this current team. You think Auston Matthews is making $11.6M playing for the Leafs if it weren't for Kyle Wellwood coming before him? You think Mitch Marner is where he's at today if it weren't for Alexander Steen exemplifying what it takes to wear a letter on your sweater for a team that wins the Cup? Granted, Steen won it years later with St. Louis after spending his 3.5 seasons in Toronto, but still. You think John Tavares is able to be the player he is today if Colton Orr didn't lay the foundation for him? There's no William Nylander without Matt Frattin. 

What's the common thread between all these legends? 

None of them have ever scored a goal in the 2nd round of the playoffs for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

That's what I love about this core group for the Leafs this year. Not only do they know the history, but they honor the legacy. When this team beat Tampa last round to advance to the 2nd round for the first time since 2004, this group knew they needed to do something special. They knew that all those teams from the 2005-06 season until 2021-22 were just as big a part of this as anybody. 

These guys make a combined $40.5 million per year. 4 guys making damn near half of the Leafs' entire salary for the year. What does $40.5 million get you in today's economy? A combined 0 goals and 4 assists through 3 games in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Talk about inflation. 

Go Leafs Go!