How the Maple Leafs transformed fairy tale into tragedy

Tease the day: Toronto’s fans were stunned at their team’s epic collapse


Charles Krupa/AP

Last night was, only a few weeks ago, the stuff of pure fiction. The Toronto Maple Leafs held a 4-1 lead with 15 minutes left in the seventh and deciding game of a playoff series against a team full of guys who know how to win the Stanley Cup. And they were on the road, against all odds, somehow winning.

To that point, Maple Leafs fans were incapable of feeling disappointed. Their team had returned to the playoffs for the first time since [insert nostalgic reference], a gift all its own. They’d fallen behind three games to one, and every game after that was, again, a gift. Forcing a seventh game was unconscionable, but they accomplished that. Even if they lost that final game, everyone would have to at least take the Leafs seriously again, right? And then, in that game, they held a 4-1 lead.

The Leafs had somehow shown, if only for a matter of minutes, that they could not only test the Bruins, but maybe even beat them. Their fans, even if they wouldn’t admit it, got their hopes up. They tasted it. And what followed was the only sequence of events that could ruin all of that: an epic collapse, and a 5-4 overtime loss. Suddenly, and starkly, it didn’t matter that the Leafs were never supposed to get as far as they did. All those gifts, those new leases on life, evaporated. There remained only loss.

All of it was pure fiction, only months ago. Now it’s just a hangover and, as usual, all about next year.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the deportation of 69-year-old Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, who’d lived in Canada for 26 years. The National Post fronts Iran’s chairmanship of a major UN disarmament conference (not available online; link to the Jerusalem Post). The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ stunning collapse in the seventh game of their first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Canada’s foreign service workers walking off the job in several African missions, to coincide with a visit from Governor General David Johnston. iPolitics fronts the BC NDP’s six-point lead over the provincial Liberals as British Columbians head to the polls today. CBC.ca leads with details about Dellen Millard, the man who was arrested in connection with the disappearance of Tim Bosma, the missing Ontario man who hasn’t been seen since May 6. National Newswatch showcases Chantal Hebert’s column in the Toronto Star about what yesterday’s federal byelection in Labrador doesn’t mean for the future.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Missing data. A public servant who lost the private data of more than 5,000 Canadians didn’t know the data needed to be encrypted, according to a departmental report. 2. Snowbirds. Canadians who spend their winters in the United States might be able to spend eight months a year in the south, if Congress passes a new bill.
3. Ferry. Karl Lilgert, the man responsible for navigation on the sunken ferry The Queen of the North in 2006, was convicted of criminal negligence causing death. 4. Economic development. Aboriginal leaders in Canada’s Arctic are calling for a moratorium on development just as Canada assumes the chair of the Arctic Council.

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How the Maple Leafs transformed fairy tale into tragedy

  1. My niece and nephew cried for first time last night – welcome to the club, kids!

    I am betwixt and between on whether turning next generation of my family into Leafs supporters is child abuse or is a little grit in oyster a good thing?

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