The 2004 Toronto Maple Leafs were one HELL of a team of memorable names, and also the last time the Blue & White were able to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Here’s hoping these Leafs can do the same tonight. Game 5 against Montreal gets underway at 7 pm ET on CBC and Sportsnet, with Toronto one win away from advancing to play the Winnipeg Jets.
Joe Nieuwendyk, Ron Francis, Brian Leetch, Tomas Kaberle, Ed Belfour, and Bryan McCabe were quite the unit of hockey talent on that 2004 team.
They won their first round matchup against a divisional rival in Ottawa (their fourth series win over the nation’s capital in just five seasons).
Just two current Leafs players were in the league at that time. Joe Thornton was a member of the Boston Bruins. Jason Spezza was in the building for the Leafs win, as a scratch for the Senators.
Auston Matthews was six years old.
Here’s the Leafs’ forward group from that night, a 4-1 win over the Sens on April 20, 2004:
Mats Sundin, as you may (or may not… it’s been a bit) recall was dealing with an injury and missed several games in the 2004 playoffs.
And here’s the defence/ goaltending:
Nobody on this list was able to win anything much else as Leaf, as it would be the last time they’d make the playoffs until the 2013 shortened season.
It was also quite the physical affair.
Let’s hope there’s no jinxes from this post…