As 12 different Maple Leafs players took their turn meeting with the media for one last time this season, their disappointment in another early playoff exit was only matched by the understanding that blame falls on their shoulders.

From their perspective, all the right pieces were in place for a deep playoff run, which led to the continued recognition of a missed opportunity.

“To me, and I’ve said it to the guys, this team felt real,” said forward Jason Spezza. “It felt like a team with a very real opportunity to win. And we fell short. That’s what leaves us feeling so empty and disappointed.





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