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Ilya Samsonov: “We have the best team in the league”.

In three days’ time, the countdown to the start of the Maple Leafs’ golf season will begin. The Toronto team, trying to put its demons to rest, will cross swords with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first game of the long-awaited series.

As in every playoff series for the past few years, the pressure is on. Not only are the fans fed up with losing in April, but field hockey fans everywhere will be watching the series with rapt attention. Naturally, they’ll be hoping to see them lose and continue to taunt them.

This year, however, things may be different. Sheldon Keefe’s team is more confident than ever and Tampa Bay, while still Tampa Bay, is not the team of recent years.

According to goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who missed the team’s last few games but will be back for the playoffs, the Leafs are the best team in the NHL, no less.

Did you forget the Boston Bruins existed, Ilya?

It’s true that on paper and statistically, Toronto, who finished fifth in the NHL, is one of the best teams on the circuit. They had an impressive regular season, but until they win a playoff round, I don’t believe in their chances.

But if the team finally wins a round, it’s clear they’ll be among the favourites to win the Stanley Cup. It’s just a shame that if they manage to beat Jon Cooper’s team, they’ll be facing nothing less than the best team in NHL history…

Remember that Toronto, despite having the longest active playoff streak, hasn’t won a playoff round since 2004.

Do you have confidence in the Leafs? Would you dare take any of the team’s players in your playoff pool?

Breaking news

– An intriguing case.

– Lots of competition in Laval next year. [RDT]

– What a surprise…

– Jays too strong for Rays.

– What a performance!

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