With the NHL season (slowly) approaching, not much has been set in stone. Nobody really has a Stanley Cup prediction quite yet, or the slightest clue to who will emerge as the breakout star of the year. One thing that is inevitable, however, is the often unrealistic optimism by fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, myself included.
Without a single playoff appearance since the lockout, fans in Toronto are getting impatient, and the pressure is on Brian Burke and the rest of the Maple Leafs organization as a whole to finally break the playoff barrier. Fans and media often called for coach Ron Wilson's head last season, and if the Leafs begin the season poorly or fail to make the playoffs again this upcoming season, he will without a doubt be fired.
All in all, there is a lot of pressure on everyone from the GM to the players of the Maple Leafs to at the very least make the playoffs this 2011/2012 season. Here are the five keys (in no particular order) for a Toronto Maple Leafs playoff berth in 2011/2012.