After a few months to reflect on his team’s elimination from the playoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs star John Tavares didn’t mince words.
"I'm still bitter," Tavares said Friday at the Marner All-Star Invitational to NHL.com’s Mike 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.”
Tavares submitted his career-best season in his first year with the Maple Leafs, recording 47 goals and 88 points, adding two goals and three assists during Toronto’s seven-game series against Boston. Unfortunately, Tavares’ presence didn’t change the result for the Maple Leafs, who were eliminated by the Bruins in seven games for the second consecutive season.
The veteran center also said he’s confident his linemate, Mitch Marner, will return to the team, as he remains a restricted free agent well into July.
Everyone in Toronto was caught in up in Raptorsmania this summer, as the team captured its first NBA championship in franchise history.
In the truest sense of How Is This About the Leafs, Tavares was asked what a Stanley Cup victory would mean to the city, after watching the Raptors lift the Larry O-B.
"I think that's part of why it would be so special to experience that because we obviously know what the Maple Leafs mean to the city of Toronto. The history of the team, how long it's been, it would obviously be something pretty remarkable. It's hard to even grasp what that atmosphere would even be like. It was truly amazing to watch the Raptors and see what they did and see how the city, and all of Canada, got behind them and what they were able to accomplish. Definitely pretty motivating and extremely cool to see."
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