When it comes to the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs, no season in recent years has both fascinated and baffled me more than the 2011-12 campaign.
Or, as it is more infamously known, the “18-wheeler” season.
If you want to know why Leafs fans tend to get an uneasy feeling each time the team has a lead in a game or is doing reasonably well during the regular season, this season played a part in that narrative being established. You take a single glance at the roster and it is filled with names of players from a bygone era. Phil Kessel. Dion Phaneuf. Tyler Bozak. Joffrey Lupul. Mikhail Grabovski. Nikolay Kulemin. Luke Schenn. Jake Gardiner. Nazem Kadri. A majority of them are still playing in the NHL today. Unsurprisingly, none of them are with the Leafs as of the time of writing this.
Meanwhile, the goaltending situation was a different animal entirely. Leading the way was James Reimer, who was the original titleholder of the happiest Leaf netminder ever. Backing him up was Jonas Gustavsson, a goalie with so much promise a few years prior but had showcased inconsistent play in the net. Then there is Ben Scrivens, who started the yea …
Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation