Toronto Maple Leafs fans have heard the phrase “make it out of the first round” a lot in the last couple of seasons because Toronto has shown great promise with nothing to show for it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs always seems to have a good regular season but then fizzle out in the playoffs.
Fans and reporters alike have offered many excuses as to why that happens. The team is either not tough enough, doesn’t have enough depth, or the goaltender isn’t good enough.
Many fans seem to blame Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, even though he adds the things fans keep screaming about not having. In 2018-19 fans wanted more toughness and defensive depth, so Dubas added Jake Muzzin. Toronto lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins in seven games.
For the 2019-20 season, fans wanted Dubas to add more leadership, and again they wanted more toughness. He added Jason Spezza to Toronto’s leadership group and traded for Kyle Clifford to add toughness. They lost in the Round Robin to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Clifford left in the off-season.
At the start of the 2020-21 shortened season, fans wanted toughness to replace Clifford, more depth, and more leadership. Dubas added Zach Bogosian, Wayne Simmonds, T.J. Brodie, Travis Boyd, Jimmy Vesey, and Joe Thornton. By the trade deadline, that proved to be not enough.
So, Dubas traded for Nick Foligno. The heavily favoured Toronto Maple Leafs once again lost in the first round.