Let’s face it, in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s never that easy. Nor so simple.

That club, the one with the depressive maple leaf on the jersey, hasn’t won a series since the bug of the year 2000, or thereabouts. On this Thursday evening in April, the opportunity was great to bury this exhausted, battered, weakened Lightning, and to finally move on to the next round.

But what were we saying already? Ah yes: it’s not that simple. Never so simple.

It’s never any of that because the Leafs never do the easy or the obvious.

Game 5 of the series should have been theirs, especially after Morgan Rielly’s early-night goal that could, should have set the tone.

Except the final mark is this: Tampa Bay 4, Toronto 2.

And then, that comes to mean that there will be a sixth game in this series, Saturday night in Tampa, and that anything is possible, because as we know, in a sixth game, it can go from one side to the other. ‘other. Above all, it can not go from the Toronto edge.

Did you say panic?

It’s special, though.

In the world of sport, there are sometimes these teams from which we expect absolutely nothing, if not titanic collapses, and a series of disappointments by the end of time.

For example, it’s impossible to think that one day the New York Jets are going to win something, or the Cleveland Browns, and then in that vein, who in this room really thinks the Maple Leafs are going to win. something by the 2990-2991 season, if such an event is possible?

That’s kind of the problem for the Leafs right now.

Because the Torontonians had the chance to show the rest of the league that they are no longer the same old Leafs, the ones who used to choke on the slightest opportunity.

But hey, instead, the Leafs took advantage of this Thursday evening, at home in addition, in front of their own, to bring the doubts of the past to the fore, and to remind the NHL planet that finally, they can -be the good old Leafs. Again.

The same ones who haven’t won anything since Expo 67, after all.

There is nothing more to add. If the Leafs miss this streak, it will be the end of pretty much everyone in Toronto, from the coach to the GM to the Gatorade bottle manager. The Leafs can’t lose this series.

But on this Thursday night, the Leafs sowed their own doubt. The Lightning players didn’t ask for that much.