What do the Current Struggles Mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

The month of March hasn’t been kind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but have patience

Not long ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs were atop the NHL by a large margin. That was despite numerous players out of the lineup due to injuries. March came around, and suddenly things changed.

While the team started the month with two wins against the Edmonton Oilers, it was a downhill stretch from there. Toronto went from a record of 18-4-2 to 19-9-2. The Leafs lost five of their last six games with a combined score of 23-15 for the opposition.

A team that was consistently scoring four to five goals per game suddenly began scoring two to three goals per game. From giving up around three goals per game, the opposition started hovering around four goals per game.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Recent Struggles

Fans and analysts are concerned over the rough patch of play, but you shouldn’t be. Even though the team hasn’t played well on the scoreboard, that doesn’t mean they haven’t played well on the ice.

I have never seen a team play so well yet not get the result for as long as the Leafs have the past few games. There is not a shortage of scoring chances, and the team has been solid defensively. For some reason, the Leafs can’t capitalize on their scoring chances. They either can’t lift the puck over the goaltender’s pad, rip the puck past the net, or mark up the post/crossbar.

The frustrations offensively have impacted the defense. Defensemen are making bad pinches to hold the zone, leaving Frederick Anderson to face multiple odd-man rushes every period. Luckily, the team has a four-day break from their 4-3 loss against the Ottawa Senators to their next game against the Calgary Flames. During this time, head coach Sheldon Keefe will work to get the team back on track.

The adversity the Toronto Maple Leafs are battling through could strengthen the team down the road. You never want to head into the playoffs without facing a rough patch. That likely means the rough patch will come up when you want it the least.

Remember when the Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the regular season just to get swept by the eighth-seed Columbus Blue Jackets? The lack of adversity during the season came up in the playoffs, and it cost them.

The long break will benefit the team, and they will pull it together. The goaltending needs to be better, so does the defensive play on the rush and finishing offensive chances.

The team made some roster moves, sending Jimmy Vesey down (claimed by the Vancouver Canucks) and calling Alex Galchenyuk up. Not to mention a possible trade on the horizon.  Wayne Simmonds could return on Thursday, with Jack Campbell soon to follow. Two Leafs that played well and missed time are coming back.

Everything is set in place for the Toronto Maple Leafs to rebound from their bad run. I’m looking forward to an impressive stretch from now up until the trade deadline on April 12th.

Next. Every Single Possible Leafs Trade Option. dark

That is for the team’s performance and how the team will change. Yes, the six-game stretch is a cause for concern, but not in the long run. If anything, it helped the team.