The Toronto Maple Leafs were finally able to exercise some demons this spring, winning a postseason series for the first time since 2004 by taking down their rival Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. The series was marred by a few violent incidents that resulted in suspensions on both ends, including now-former Leafs forward Michael Bunting being banned for three games while Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was suspended for a pair of games.
But the series came to an end after Leafs captain John Tavares' wraparound shot made its way past a bewildered Andrei Vasilevskiy in overtime of Game 6, ensuring that there would be no second straight postseason comeback by the Bolts.
But if you're expecting Sergachev to give credit to the Leafs for a job well done, you'll have to be waiting a while because it sure doesn't look like it's coming. In fact, Sergachev went so far as to say that the Leafs deserve zero credit for their win over the Bolts in a recent interview:
Interviewer: "The series was pretty tough: you lost [Erik] Cernak, and [Viktor]Hedman missed one game. Did you get hurt a lot?
Sergachev: "I don't want to give Toronto any pluses right now, they don't deserve them. Any playoff series is tough. The fact that someone got knocked out is a coincidence - wrong shoulder, bad fall."
Interviewer: "Why don't you want to give pluses to Toronto?"
Sergachev: "Well, why would I? I don't think they deserve them."
Interviewer: "They made it past the first round for the first time in 19 years!"
Sergachev: "Well done here, they made it past the first round, but they didn't make it any further. So I don't see any reason to be happy."
Well, the rivalry is officially not cooling off any time soon, and the Leafs will almost certainly be putting his comments up on the bulletin board in their dressing room! Who else can't wait to see these two teams get together in the regular season?
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