Ontario’s premier put on his Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and took to Twitter on Saturday night to state these bold words: “the Leafs are going to win the Stanley Cup.”
Doug Ford not only predicts the Toronto Maple Leafs will win the Stanley Cup, but they will do so by beating the Edmonton Oilers. An Oilers versus Maple Leafs Stanley Cup? That would make the NHL’s pause worth it.
Ford’s unflinching prediction came after Saskatchewan’s premier, Scott Moe was throwing shade on the Leafs. During a COVID-19 related media conference, Moe was asked about sports resuming. After talking about a few other leagues he got to hockey, “we have the NHL that came up on a premiers call earlier today, Doug Ford is still hopeful that the NHL could operate this year. He feels the Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance, just like they last did in 1967.”
Moe, who represents a province with no NHL team, cheers for the Edmonton Oilers who won their last Cup 30 years ago and has made the playoffs once in the last 13 seasons.
“Hey Scott, how you doing buddy?” said Ford in his pre-recorded message, “I saw your video about the Leafs, I have to tell you when the season starts up again, we’re going to kick your Oilers’ butts.”
Maple Leafs vs Oilers Could Happen
For that to happen, these two teams would have to be in the Stanley Cup Final. The Oilers and Maple Leafs already played their two scheduled games this season. The Maple Leafs beat the Oilers 4-1 in Edmonton on Dec. 14, the Oilers answered on Jan. 6 with a 6-4 win in Toronto.
What if Ford’s prediction is right? An Edmonton vs. Toronto Stanley Cup Final. Is it that unlikely? We all know anything can happen in the playoffs, but the 2019-20 version will be the most unpredictable. First off, we don’t even know the format. We don’t know how teams will play after being off for so long. We don’t know how players will respond to playing with no fans and playing in hub cities while under quarantine.
While there are countless unknowns, what we do know is that it takes a team getting hot, a goalie playing lights out and a little bit of luck and any team can win hockey’s Holy Grail.
Canada Cheers Canadian Teams
For a country that lives and breathes hockey, an all-Canadian final would be a well-deserved gift to hockey fans. It doesn’t matter who your team is, Canadians get behind the last team north of the 49th parallel in the playoffs. Remember when the Ottawa Senators went all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2017? Canada got behind the Sens for that run. Really, who wouldn’t want to see the likes of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in the final?
That’s what Doug Ford is predicting, and he’s already putting together a guest list to watch the games. “We are going to be in the Stanley Cup championship, and I’m going to invite you by… you can go to your closet, dust off that beautiful Leaf jersey that I gave you and wear it with pride, and come on down here,” said Ford.
Related: Do You Know Your Maple Leafs Trivia?
Ontario’s premier also offered up some friendly advice to his Saskatchewan counterpart, “buddy, from one sheepdog to another, you need a haircut.” That is some valuable advice that likely many of us should take, we will happily trade in our quarantine hair for our playoff beards.
Kevin Armstrong is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience. He’s been rink side for World Juniors, Memorial Cups, Calder Cups and Stanley Cups. Like many Canadian kids, his earliest memories include hockey. Kevin has spent countless hours in arenas throughout the country watching all levels of the game.