News, Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs Make Playoffs After A Nine-Year Wait

Stanley Cup banners that hang in the Air Canada Center. Image: Horge
Stanley Cup banners that hang in the Air Canada Center. Image: Horge

The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team has finally made the playoffs.

Tomorrow, the Leafs will play their first post-season game since 2004.

Toronto hockey fans are well known for their enthusiasm for their team—and their patience. They’re excited their team has finally made the playoffs again.

For each Maple Leafs playoff game Toronto’s CN Tower will light up blue, the colour of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In the past few days, more than 75,000 people have joined the “Leafs Last Minute Club,” an online service that tells people when new tickets to watch games are available to be purchased.

A lot has changed since the last time the Maple Leafs were in the playoffs. Back in 2004, no one could watch Youtube highlights of the Maple Leafs games on their iPhones… because neither Youtube nor iPhones had been created yet.

And tweeting the score would have been impossible, because Twitter didn’t exist yet, either.

Canada’s population has increased by about three million during those nine years of change and patience for Leafs fans.

The Maple Leafs will face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. It’s a team the Leafs have only beaten once in four tries this year. And it’s a team they haven’t faced in the playoffs for 39 years.

The Bruins and Maple Leafs are competing with 14 other teams to win the Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup is the trophy given each year to the best team in the NHL.

There are three other Canadian teams in the playoffs this year: the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canadiens were the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup. They won it 20 years ago, in 1993.

The Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967. (And let’s not even get started about the technology that wasn’t available then.)

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
As explained in the article, the last time the Leafs were in the playoffs, Twitter, YouTube and iPhones didn’t exist.

What if the Leafs didn’t make the playoffs for another nine years (we hope that won’t happen!)? What will our world look like 2022? Use your imagination to describe what changes could take place in that time.

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
Even if you aren’t a big Maple Leafs fan, you probably found this article to be engaging and informative. What strategies did the author use to get you interested in the story?

Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (e.g., identify traits they admire in the characters; comment on actions taken by characters) (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Brackets
Brackets (also known as parentheses) are used to separate information and ideas from a text. The information included in brackets is generally not essential.

Read the last paragraph in the article. Why do you think the author chose to use brackets? How do brackets change how you read and understand the last sentence?