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TORONTO nike air max 2019 pas cher , April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs' season ended on Sunday evening in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards in game six of their first round National Hockey League Eastern Conference quarterfinals series. Washington won the series 4-2 to advance to the conference semifinals.

"The reality is it's a great year for our team. I'm really proud of our guys from where we were and from the expectations coming in," said Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock following the loss.

After finishing dead last in the league a year ago, the playoffs were not in sight for Toronto going into the 2016-17 season.

Instead, in his second season as head coach of Toronto, Babcock anticipated this year as an opportunity to develop a core group of young players. Led by No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews nike air max 270 femme rose , the Maple Leafs played six rookies for at least 70 games during the season, the most in NHL history.

The season started out poorly for Babcock's young squad, as the team managed seven points (going 2-4-3) in the first nine games. The next eight games were a different story, as the team reeled off six wins to move above the .500 mark.

By the all-star break, the Leafs found themselves in the playoff race following a 19-game run where they went 12-3-4. By the beginning of April nike air max 270 femme pas cher , the team went on an even better 11-2-1 run to reach the postseason for the first time in four years.

Matthews ultimately played in all 82 games this season, setting a franchise record of 40 goals and 69 points. He also was atop the rookie scoring in both categories and was tied for second in the league in goals scored.

Meanwhile, rookie teammates William Nylander and Mitchell Marner also made an impact, scoring 61 points apiece for a tie for third best among first year players.

"We've had great growth from our team, unbelievable action since the start of the year nike air max 270 homme blanche ," said Babcock following the game. "Our young guys are good."

Having finished the season as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, Toronto drew the top-ranked Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite being an overwhelming underdog to win the series, Babcock's resilient squad stormed out to a 2-0 lead in game one before allowing the Capitals to score three unanswered goals to win the opening game in the series. The Leafs bounced back with overtime wins in games two and three to take the series lead before losing the next three games.

Game six was the lowest scoring of all the games, with Matthews opening the scoring at the 7:45 mark of the third period before Capitals forward Marcus Johansson scored the equalizer five minutes later to send the game to an extra frame. Johansson found the back of the net again at 7:31 in overtime to end the series.

In total, all six games were decided by one goal and five of the six games reached overtime nike air max 270 homme pas cher , tying an NHL record.

Babcock says he is extremely proud of his team's incredible run in the season and values the experience that they were able to gain from the six postseason games.

"From our perspective, we got to play a really good team, a really well-coached team with really good players," he said. "We got to find out where we're at and where our players are at. Until you've been through the playoffs with players, you don't really know the level of player you have."

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