4 Things the Toronto Maple Leafs Must Do to Overcome the Bruins

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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Block Out the Noise

Being an NHL player in Toronto is a dream come true for many, but it certainly comes with some disadvantages.  With a huge fan base and constant media coverage, the pressure to perform and the level of distraction can be overwhelming for many.

What’s wrong with Mitch Marner?  Is he a playoff failure?  When will William Nylander play?  Why doesn’t he just play through whatever’s bothering him?  Why do the Leafs let Brad Marchand get under their skin?  Questions, questions.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a roller-coaster season so far, perhaps even more so than usual.  It may be a question of “which came first,” but it’s been pretty easy to see that the game is fun when things have been going well.  Conversely, frustration and anger have emerged when either the team or individual players have struggled.

These guys are just regular people whose performance is affected by the highs and lows of a hockey player’s life. 

Maybe part of the secret to playoff success is to just block out the media, the fans, and the opposition, and just go out and enjoy playing hockey.

It sounds counter-intuitive (especially after I stress the need to focus, shoot more, avoid dumb penalties, etc) but perhaps the Toronto Maple Leafs need to stop overthinking and adopt a mindset of “this is supposed to be fun!”