TORONTO - By the time the Maple Leafs’ first-round series is off and rolling, count on fans loudly bursting into a chorus of “Thank you, Kessel!”
Whether it will be Bruins or Leafs supporters singing that tune remains to be seen.
Yes, the Leafs will be making their first trip to the post-season in nine years. It’s just not against the hated Habs, the team most figured would be waiting in the wings for their long-time foes.
Instead, it is the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Boston Could-Have-Been Leafs.
It is Phil Kessel versus Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton.
It is Tuukka Rask and Shawn Thornton facing the Leafs, the team that drafted them.
If ever there was a playoff series oozing with storylines, this is it.