A couple of short weeks back, Former Vegas Golden Knight Max Pacioretty
made waves when he revealed what the culture was behind the scenes in Sin City, explaining that there was no accountability from the players, coaches or upper management to win in Vegas.
Pacioretty also revealed how much different it was during his time in Montreal, where even losing a regular season game was enough to send fans, the media, the players, coaches and management group on tilt. The demand to win is much higher than it is in Canada, or so we thought.
Pacioretty had revealed this on the Cam and Strick Podcast, which sparked the pair to recall something that Roman Polak had told them during his time with the St. Louis Blues.
Polak had revealed that, during his time in Toronto, the organization was not too concerned with putting a lot of pressure on the players to win games under Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter. He said a lot of the players simply didn't care what was being said by the media either.
Well, that was then and this is now. Thankfully, the Leafs are now run by Kyle Dubas, who has put an emphasis on winning and has begun to instill more of a competitive edge and has worked diligently to re-stock the empty cupboards left by Lou and Hunter through the draft.
We have seen the team make incremental improvements year over year since Dubas took over in 2018 and while the results may have been the same in the first round, the Leafs seem to be inching closer to that glass ceiling and preparing to break through it. This much was evident when they pushed the then back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning to their absolute limits this spring, nearly knocking them off in round 1. Had it not been for shotty officiating, we may very well have seen the Leafs moving on for the first time in almost 2 decades.