The agony of defeat lingers inside of John Tavares.
The Toronto Maple Leafs center admitted to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger on Friday he’s “still bitter” about his team’s loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round of last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Tavares particularly laments the fact the Maple Leafs held a 3-2 series lead but dropped the final two games and exited the playoffs for the second consecutive season at the hands of their rivals.
“I’m still bitter,” Tavares said. “We were up 3-2 in that series. We thought we were in the driver’s seat and we just didn’t find a way to put the nail in the coffin ? to really finish them off. It’s something we have to learn from.”
Game 7 of the Bruins-Maple Leafs series took place April 24, but the ensuing two-plus months haven’t eased the sting Tavares feels about the loss. Only one thing can do that, and he’ll have to wait until at least next spring to take another postseason crack at the Bruins.