Thursday, May 9, 2024

“We can and we will.” A history of how the Maple Leafs got here, in 12 quotes

“Obviously we’re looked upon as… you know, kind of gods here to be honest.” – Mitch Marner, May 2024

Did you enjoy the Maple Leafs’ final media day of the season, at least for players and coaches? I sure did. Nothing quite like being reminded over and over, by just about every player on the team, that they’re “close”. Always close, with these guys. Close to winning something, close to each other, close to making you throw your remote through the TV screen. So close!

This year, we got a memorable bonus quote from the current whipping boy, who decided this would be a good week to compare the players to deities. He’s not even wrong. The Toronto Maple Leafs players really are gods, in their own way. Then again, so was Oizys.

For the record, I don't think Marner's "gods" quote was especially controversial; I think we can all appreciate what he was going for, even if he might have preferred to have it come out a bit differently. And if Marner's sound bite was a bit awkward, at least it fit with a larger trend in Leafs land, where the team has spent the last few years leaving quote-based sign posts along to the road to wherever this is that they’ve wound up.

So today, as we wait for the implosion to truly start, let’s remember 12 sound bites that this team offered up during the Brendan Shanahan era, and how they ultimately add up to explain the way it all fell apart.

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