Toronto Maple Leafs Collapse Again….So What’s Next?

Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

Apparently time is a circle because i feel the exact same way I felt after the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to Columbus last year in game 5. They played scared. Again. They got pushed around. Again.

The second highest paid player on the ice played like garbage. Again. The Toronto Maple Leafs have the same amount of playoff series wins now as they did 5 years ago. What happened?

Anyone blaming Dubas is simply wrong. He doesn’t make the lines. He doesn’t skate. Maybe he should’ve, he couldn’t have been worse than Mitch Marner was.

Marner was a disaster.

Toronto Maple Leafs Blow It Again

I can accept getting outplayed, I can’t accept looking weak for 7 games. I’m not going to make this a money thing. I’m going to make this a performance thing. Leading the team in points in the regular season and not being able to make simple tape to tape passes is unacceptable. Getting bullied when you’re a grown man is unacceptable. Mitch Marner choked. Plain and simple. It’s time to move on from him.

Sheldon Keefe has been and still is a great find as Babcock’s replacement. But that’s still what he is: “Babcock’s replacement.” He’s done nothing to separate himself from Babs because he’s still stuck in the same rut that Babcock was.

We can call last season a wash if you want to, but this series had no right to go to seven games. Keefe was outcoached. He couldn’t get the top line going, he stubbornly kept Mitch Marner on the powerplay, PK and first line when he clearly wasn’t up for any of it, and he got outcoached by a guy in his first season as Montreal’s head coach. Unacceptable.

The game plan seemed identical to game six’s which seemed to be a very conservative, defensive scheme. Getting into a war of attrition with Carey Price is not a formula for success. The Leafs very clearly had Montreal on their heels every single time they were aggressive, and despite the losses, the defensive group was holding up well. Playing conservative was simply the wrong thing to do.

What does this mean for seasons to come? I don’t know. Dubas and Keefe aren’t getting fired, so people can stop with that. I don’t even want to look at the UFA list, but I do know someone in particular is on it. Zach Hyman. If there’s one UFA I want to keep it’s him. He didn’t deserve to get dropped down a line tonight. Marner did.

There’s no one acquisition the Toronto Maple Leafs can make that pushes them over the top. The Leafs were outcoached in this series. The Habs knew how to compete with the Leafs, and the Leafs played the game Montreal wanted. The answer was staring them right in the face.

Leafs Top 10 Prospects. dark. Next

There is no one player or reason the Leafs lost this series. I can sit here and list them(not now but I might later because I hate myself) but the fact is: they lost. And now we’ll have to listen to other fanbases laugh at us until next April and we can all go down this rollercoaster again. See you guys later. I hope Winnipeg wins the cup.