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COLUMN: We did it, Leafs fans! This is the year!

Reporter Shawn Gibson has done the math and analyzed all the algorithms to conclude this is definitely 'the year' the Leafs hoist the Stanley Cup

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you made it.

This is the year we’ve all been waiting for. This is 'The Year'.

The Leafs are winning the Cup this season.

While there are signs from the hockey gods, it is backed by science as well.

First off, the NHL season begins on Friday, Oct. 7 in Europe with a few teams that will act like socks at Christmas. Ie. Who cares, where is the big gift?

The real start to this historic season is Oct. 12 when the Leafs begin their Stanley Cup trek in Montreal.

I can hear what the naysayers are saying now is: “How about you get out of the first round and then talk Cup.”

I can’t hear what they are saying because I have tickets from multiple sold-out decades plugging my ears.

We’re the Leafs. We go big because we are big. 

No, we haven’t been out of the first round in a long while, but that's going to make this year’s Cup win even greater as other fans eat their words and punchlines.

Many of our stars have been getting visibly — and statistically — better year after year, with an explosive season the only next option.

Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are absolute superstars and winning the Cup is the only logical next level for them. They aren’t going to go without doing it and they aren’t leaving Toronto, so it's kind of a given.

The Leafs defense is still improving and — laugh if you will — they will be ranked in the upper half of teams this season.

Goaltending? When you’re outsourcing teams five to one, it's not a thing. We’ll address it before the playoffs on trade deadline day.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe and general manager Kyle Dubas are young and have been learning along the way, and president Brenadan Shanahan is anything but a loser. The three of them are set for the success they and Leafs fans deserve. 

The emotional side of it is the Leafs need the win for the entire country. The last few years have been tough on everyone worldwide, but particularly people in Toronto, being that it's the centre of Canada and the hockey world.

Imagine all the children and families, from coast to coast to coast, happily crying after three long years of a pandemic and finally seeing the nation’s most beloved team win it all. This is what brings people together — the love of the Leafs.

Ottawa fans may disagree, but they can talk to each other all they want, with their home attendance, no one is listening anyway. Unless the Leafs are visiting and then it's a packed house.

Finally, there is the math of it.

They say that all teams are created equal, but you look at the Leafs and you look at the rest of the NHL and you can see that statement is not true. 

Normally, if you go one on one with another team, you have a 50/50 chance of winning. But this is Toronto versus everyone, and we’re not normal. 

So you've got a one-in-15 chance — or 6.67 per cent — at best to beat the Buds in the Eastern Conference.

Then you add the Western Conference to the mix, your chances of winning drastically go down. Then it's a one-in-32 chance — or 3.13 per cent — of winning. 

How many games do you have to win to hoist Lord Stanley? You’re right if you said it's 16 games.

And as you likely know, 16 divided by 3.13 per cent is five, the number of the legend that was Bill Barilko.

Case closed.

It has been a long road, 56 years by the time we cheer the final buzzer of the season.

But I dare say, it was worth it.

Enjoy this historic season fellow Leafs fans! The payoff will be glorious!

Shawn Gibson is a staff reporter at BarrieToday who bleeds blue and white.