The Leafs held a 3-2 series lead over the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs but were unable to close out the series on home ice in Game 6. Then, Toronto was unable to conquer its Game 7 demons in Boston.
"I'm still bitter," Tavares said Friday, according to NHL.com's Mike Zeisberger. "We were up 3-2 in that series. We thought we were in the driver's seat and we just didn't find a way to put the nail in the coffin ... to really finish them off. It's something we have to learn from."
The Bruins made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Their path through the Eastern Conference was easier than expected after the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Pittsburgh Penguins all lost in the first round.
Tavares enjoyed a career year in 2018-19, tallying 47 goals and 88 points in 82 games. He added two goals and three assists in seven playoff tilts. The Toronto native, who inked a seven-year, $77-million contract with the Leafs last summer, will look to help his boyhood team win its first playoff series since 2004 come next spring.