The Boston Bruins continue to be in the minds of the Toronto Maple Leafs even into the off-season. One Maple Leaf, in particular, is still taking the seven-game loss to the Bruins in first round really hard. John Tavares still feels bitter and has not recovered from the loss as he told Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com.
“I’m still bitter,” Tavares told Zeisberger. “We were up 3-2 in that series. We thought we were in the driver’s seat and we just didn’t find a way to put the nail in the coffin … to really finish them off. It’s something we have to learn from.”
Unfortunately for Tavares, he will have to learn to live with defeat at the hand of the Bruins as the current playoff format will not be change anytime soon. If these things stay the same in the Atlantic Division in the upcoming season, the Maple Leafs and Bruins will meet again in the first round the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dating back to the 2013, the Bruins and Maple Leafs have played in three first-round playoff series all going to a Game 7. Each time the Bruins prevailed on home ice, as they proved to be the better team each time.
Maple Leafs General Manager was able to sign Tavares, who was a free agent last summer, to a seven-year, $77 million contract to come play for his hometown team. The hope was Tavares would be able to get the Maple Leafs past the Bruins in the Stanley Cups. After another great season, the result was the same another first round exit courtesy of their rivals the Bruins.
Tavares could have been on the other side of this rivalry, as the Bruins were one of the teams in the running last summer for his services. What would have the Bruins roster looked like if Tavares did sign with the Bruins in the summer of 2018? While Tavares could have helped them, the Bruins got all the way to the Stanley Cup Final without him as they came up one game short of winning the ultimate prize.
Tavares, has six years left on his contract which gives him plenty of time to figure out how to defeat the Bruins or handle more first round defeats, which he may have to accept a possible reality.