An extremely emotional Jack Campbell shoulders the blame for Leafs' Game 7 loss

Call me crazy, but I think Campbell is the last guy who deserves blame. Thoughts?


In case you missed it last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs completed their annual playoff choke by dropping a do or die Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Of course, the Leafs held a 3-1 series lead over the Habs and had three opportunities to close out their lifelong rival, but couldn't muster the power to do so. Now, the team is left with another wasted season to replay in their heads all offseason.

As far as blame goes, superstars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner had virtually no impact all series long, depth scorers like Zach Hyman, Alex Kerfoot and Jason Spezza went dormant and head coach Sheldon Keefe was out-coached by a rookie in Dominique Ducharme. Still, an emotional Jack Campbell shouldered the blame for the Leafs in a teary-eyed post-game media press conference:

"Just thinking of how hard our team battled and then for it to the end like that...the worst goal of my career [to Gallagher] happened in Game 7. It's unacceptable."

Where's Matthews fighting back tears? Where's Marner shouldering the blame? Where's Keefe to take the heat off his goalie?

I don't think Campbell deserves the blame for ANY of this. He's been a loyal soldier who has played his heart out this season. He saw an opportunity when Frederik Andersen went down with injury and he seized it. Now there's no doubt that he'll be a fixture of this team's core moving forward. Put his skill and performance aside, Campbell is the type of personality you want on your team, especially in goal. He's accountable to himself and he keeps his teammates accountable, as well. Frankly, if his teammates carried themselves the way Campbell carries himself, the Leafs would be in a lot better position moving forward.

Still, he didn't get the job done and when you're a top level athlete and you lose, it doesn't matter if it's your fault or not. The end result is the same whether it's your fault or someone else's fault, so it's important not to dwell on who did what. Hopefully Campbell and the Leafs can turn the page on this season in short order because they have the pieces to push through in 2021-22.