Throughout the season NHL.com will be doing a weekly series called "Five Questions With …," a Q&A with some of the key figures in the game aimed at gaining insight into their lives and careers.
The Toronto Maple Leafs spent nearly a week in Florida after clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004. They were sheltered from the growing hysteria in their city. They only got second-hand information on what people were saying until they finally got back home last Friday.
"I would assume that after a nine-year absence everyone is really ready to rally behind our team and go on a special run," Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul told NHL.com.
Lupul would be correct, but just getting into the playoffs won't be enough for the postseason-starved fan base in Toronto. The euphoric feeling of being there will dissipate quickly if the Maple Leafs don't get off to a good start against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 Wednesday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).
The Maple Leafs will have to handle the hype, hysteria and inevitable adversity. They will have to manage their emotions before games and play tight defense during them, something with which they have struggled to do during the season.
Lupul spoke to NHL.com about all of that in the latest installment of our Q&A series.
Here are Five Questions with … Joffrey Lupul: