Leafs were much better off under Pat Quinn

Under coach Pat Quinn, the Leafs played 80 playoff games over seven seasons. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI...

Under coach Pat Quinn, the Leafs played 80 playoff games over seven seasons. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI Agency)

Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

The longer he is gone, the easier it has become to appreciate what Pat Quinn accomplished in his seven seasons coaching the Maple Leafs.

Eight years have now passed since Quinn was let go by John Ferguson — and doesn’t that seem so silly in retrospect? — and in only one of those seasons, one shortened by an NHL lockout, have the Leafs qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The seven previous years, the Quinn years, the Leafs played in 80 playoff games, 13 playoff series in all, advancing beyond the first round five different times. The Quinn teams averaged 97 points per season, hitting the 100-point mark for the only three times in Leafs history, never finishing with fewer than 90.

Those years of success appear drowned out by noisy failure after failure. Since Quinn was fired, the Leafs are averaging just 82 points per season, have not made the playoffs once in an 82-game season and have hit the 90-point mark only once.


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