Thursday, April 20, 2023

The 2023 pressure rankings for all the playoff teams (that aren’t the Leafs)

With the playoffs underway, it’s that wonderful time of year when the pressure is at its very highest and every moment matters. But some teams are facing more pressure than others, so it’s time for our annual attempt to figure out which team is under the most.

Except… well, we all know, right?

It’s the Leafs. If there was any doubt, it was erased by Tuesday’s Game 1 debacle that has the entire fan base scrambling for torches and pitchforks. The Leafs haven’t won a series in forever, haven’t won a Cup in an even longer forever, have a longer streak of winner-takes-all losses than any team in sports history, and are facing a team they could beat but maybe can’t. If they win, they’re heroes who’ve been redeemed. If they lose, everyone who has ever worked for the team is getting fired, Auston Matthews is going to Arizona, Mitch Marner is going to prison and John Tavares will have a facial expression.

You’re sick of hearing about the pressure in Toronto. I get it. Every other fan base is sick of being told that the Leafs are the most interesting team in the world. But through this specific and particular lens, there really isn’t any argument, and it would feel silly to go through this whole exercise while pretending that there’s some sort of suspense here.

So we won't. Instead, today’s list is a pressure ranking of the 15 teams that aren’t the Leafs.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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