Learn about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ last Stanley Cup win in 1967 and their potential for future success in this in-depth article.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a storied history in the NHL, but their last Stanley Cup win was in 1967. This championship victory is significant because it marked the end of an era of dominance for the Maple Leafs.
Details of the Maple Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup win
The 1967 Stanley Cup Final saw the Maple Leafs face off against the Montreal Canadiens in a six-game series. The Maple Leafs won the first two games at home, but the Canadiens won the next two games in Montreal, setting up a pivotal Game 5 in Toronto.
Game 5 was a back-and-forth affair, with the Maple Leafs ultimately winning 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Jim Pappin. The series then shifted back to Montreal for Game 6, where the Maple Leafs won 3-1 to secure their fourth Stanley Cup in six years.
Overview of the team’s performance leading up to the win
The Maple Leafs’ success in the 1967 Stanley Cup Final was built on a strong team effort. The team boasted a number of star players, including Dave Keon, Tim Horton, and Johnny Bower. The Maple Leafs finished the regular season in third place in the NHL’s Original Six, with a record of 32-27-11.
In the playoffs, the Maple Leafs defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and the New York Rangers in the semifinals before facing off against the Canadiens in the Final. The team’s success in the playoffs was due in large part to their strong defensive play, as they only allowed 20 goals in 12 games.
The Maple Leafs’ last Stanley Cup win was a momentous occasion for the team and their fans, but it also marked the beginning of a long drought for the franchise.
The Drought Begins
After their 1967 Stanley Cup win, the Toronto Maple Leafs went through a long period of futility. The team failed to win another championship for over 50 years, despite numerous attempts to build a winning team.
Explanation of the Maple Leafs’ lack of success in the years following their 1967 win
One of the main reasons for the Maple Leafs’ lack of success in the years following their 1967 win was a lack of consistent leadership. The team went through a number of coaching changes and failed to develop a strong core of players.
Additionally, the NHL expanded in 1967, adding six new teams to the league. This made it more difficult for the Maple Leafs to compete, as they had to face more teams with talented players.
Discussion of key players and coaching changes
Despite their lack of success, the Maple Leafs had a number of talented players in the years following their 1967 win. Players like Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald, and Borje Salming helped keep the team competitive, but the team was never able to build a championship-caliber roster.
The Maple Leafs also went through a number of coaching changes during this period, with varying degrees of success. Some notable coaches during this time include Punch Imlach, Roger Neilson, and Pat Burns.
Although the Maple Leafs were unable to win a Stanley Cup in the years following their 1967 victory, the team had a number of near misses in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Overview of the Maple Leafs’ playoff runs in the 1990s and early 2000s
In 1993, the Maple Leafs made it to the conference finals, but were ultimately defeated by the Los Angeles Kings. In 1994, the team made it to the second round of the playoffs before losing to the San Jose Sharks.
The Maple Leafs had another deep playoff run in 1999, making it to the conference finals once again, but were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres. The team made it to the conference semifinals in both 2000 and 2002, but were unable to advance further.
Analysis of what went wrong in each attempt
In each of these playoff runs, the Maple Leafs were unable to win key games when it mattered most. The team struggled to score goals at times and had difficulty closing out series. Additionally, the team was often plagued by injuries to key players, which made it difficult to maintain consistent success.