We revisit some of the top moments in recent (yes, we're applying a very loose definition in this case) Maple Leafs playoff history as Toronto has clinched its first post-season berth since 2004.
The Toronto Maple Leafs.
While the two have been mutually exclusive terms since 2004, the usual reaction to joining the ideas in the same breath has morphed into something a little more positive now that the Leafs' playoff drought has ended with them clinching a spot on Saturday night following a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
In celebration, we look back at some of the top moments in recent (yes, we're applying a very loose definition in this case) Maple Leafs playoff history:
Blues vs. Maple Leafs Norris Division final Game 1 May 3, 1993
We start with what some believe is one of the prettiest (double) overtime goals scored in playoff history.
Gilmour helped the Leafs eliminate (future teammate) Curtis Joseph and
the St. Louis Blues in seven games.
Kings vs. Maple Leafs Campbell Conference final Game 6 May 27, 1993
A high stick by Wayne Gretzky on Gilmour in overtime went unnoticed by referee Kerry Fraser, but had the Leafs and their fans howling.
The Great One went on to score the game winner, forcing a Game 7, where Don Cherry gave his thoughts on the missed call before the Kings ended the Leafs playoff run. Islanders vs. Maple Leafs Eastern Conference quarter-finals Game 5 April 26, 2002
One of the most memorable hits in Darcy Tucker's career (for better or worse) was this low, yet unpenalized, hip check on the knees of New York captain Michael Peca:
Peca would be sidelined with a torn MCL and ACL while the Leafs would go on to win the series in seven games.
Senators vs. Maple Leafs Eastern Conference semifinal Game 2 May 4, 2002
So we meet again, Ottawa.
For the third consecutive season, the Battle of Ontario was waged in the playoffs, with the Leafs (once again) coming out on top, thanks in part to this Gary Roberts goal in triple-OT.
Toronto took the series in seven games.
Flyers vs. Maple Leafs Eastern Conference semifinal Game 6 May 4, 2004
Two years to the day of Roberts's triple-OT goal, we've come to the end of Leafs playoff memory lane. The following clip features the last big hit (Darcy Tucker on Sami Kapanen), and last goal scored (Jeremy Roenick) in a Maple Leafs playoff game:
Now it's time to look to the future. How far will the 2013 Maple Leafs go in the Stanley Cup playoffs? Vote below and have your say!
Justin PiercyOriginally from Fredericton, NB, Justin has worked in newsrooms for Astral Media Radio, Brunswick News Inc., the Toronto Star and CTV. But now he's here at CBCSports.ca to report on the sports you care about while also showing you stuff from the internet he thinks you might like.
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