Monday, August 2, 2010

43 Years of Maple Leaf Frustration: 1993-94 Season

At the Amateur Draft the Leafs pick Kenny Jonsson 12th overall but several years later ship him to the Islanders for the second coming of Wendel Clark. The Maple Leafs would break out of the gate going undefeated through most of October (a total of 10 games without a loss) as Toronto fans were paying attention to the Blue Jays in the World Series. Once the series was over the Leafs would once again hold the spotlight, but they would come down to earth a bit.

Eventually the Leafs would eve
n lose their grip on first place in the Central Division (the NHL had restructured the divisions in the offseason), as they finished in second to Detroit with a 43-29-12 record. That was good for 5th overall in in the newly expanded 26-team leauge.

Doug Gilmour had had another incredible year and finished 4th in scoring with 111 points behind Wayne Gretzky, Sergei Fedorov and Adam Oates. Gilmour also finished second in voting for th Selke Trophy. Dave Andreychuk had 53 goals (4th overall for goal scorers) and Wendel Clark had 46-goal season even though he only played in 64 games.

In the first round the Leafs would knock off the Chicago Blackhawks in six games as goalie Felix Potvin backstopped three, 1-0 wins. In the second round the Maple Leafs were taken to the limit by the upstart San Jose Sharks needing an overtime win in Game 6 to force a seventh game in which they won 4-2. In the Western Conference Finals the Leafs were heavily favored for a return to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, after taking Game 1 over the Vancouver Canucks the Leafs dreams were ended by four straight losses that included two shutouts.

A disappointed Cliff Fletcher started to contemplate what moves he had to make to put the Leafs over the top.

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