The Biggest Issue With the Current Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in one of, if not their most successful run of regular season success in franchise history. However, while the team is on an 8-year playoff streak, they only have one playoff series win to show for it. The question remains, what is the problem with this Leafs team?
Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs
Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs / Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs were handed another early playoff exit just over a month ago, this time by their nemesis the Boston Bruins.

This was the fourth time in 11 years that the Bruins have defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and even with a differently constructed roster, the buds in blue were unable to get the job done once again.

As always, nearly every hockey fan went to social media to voice their opinions about the problems with the Leafs, and after some long thinking, I think I've figured out the issue with this team.

The problem with this era of the Leafs is their mindset, and that needs to change if they want to win a Stanley Cup.

The Biggest Issue With the Current Toronto Maple Leafs

Now of course, I have no idea what the Leafs locker room is like, and I fully believe every player in that dressing room wants to win a Stanley Cup. The notion that Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews don't care about winning is bonkers to me.

With that being said, it's clear the Leafs have a tough time actually winning games when it matters the most, and they need to change their mindset if they want to get over the hump at some point.

Like I said before, the Leafs obviously want to win, there is not a doubt in my mind about that. But when it comes to the big games, the Leafs need to adopt a mindset of winning, instead of trying not to lose.

Now I will give the Leafs credit, they know how to make a series close. With the exception of the 2023 series vs the Florida Panthers, every Leafs series that they've lost since 2018 has gone seven games (or five vs Columbus), including rebounding from a 3-1 series deficit vs the Bruins twice, or coming back from 3-0 down in game 4 vs the aforementioned Blue Jackets to force a deciding game.

However, despite coming close all these times, the Leafs have only one series win since 2004, and I believe all the losing is becoming a bigger problem for these players.

Now who can blame them, losing in big games isn't going to make someone happy. But until they actually make a deep run in the playoffs, they need to change their mindset in these big games.

A new coach in Craig Berube will likely help this, and even though Sheldon Keefe did what he could, it's time for a new voice in the room.

In short, the Leafs main problem is not toughness or Mitch Marner's playoff ability, it's their mindset.


Once that changes, I believe a deep playoff run is soon to follow.