The Toronto Maple Leafs Hot-Take Factory: Marner, Coach, Hart + Accountability

Apr 27, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner (16) scores a goal
Apr 27, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner (16) scores a goal / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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On the Boston Bruins Series

The most frustrating thing watching the aftermath of the Leafs losing is the irony.

For years, Shanahan has preached patience in the face of the volitility of NHL Playoff Results.

Now, the team is on the verge of being ripped apart because people just want change for the sake of change.

No one seems to want to talk about the fact that the Leafs did better and went farther than they were expected to.

They were the 10th best team, and they over-achieved to finish that high. They came into the playoffs with nine NHL defenseman, seven of which are, at best, bottom-pairing guys.

They deployed John Tavares as a defensive centre. All three of their other super-star forwards were injured in some way. They started on the road against one of the best teams in the NHL.

I thought the Leafs played a good series. But the crazy thing is that, at best, they were a poorly constructed team whose only hope of a Stanley Cup was to get lucky.

It just seems ridiculous to blame Mitch Marner when your GM doesn't add anyone at the trade deadline and your starting goalie was on waivers in January.

The Hart Trophy

Auston Matthews was left out of the top three MVP candidates because he didn't score enough secondary assists (which are luck based and not repeatable) to properly pad his point totals.

Despite this, he was one of the three best defensive forwards in the NHL, and played nearly a quarter of his minutes with TJ Brodie on the ice.

How many goals does he score if the Leafs coach deploys him like Nikita Kucherov is deployed? 90? 100?


I realize that Leafs fans are more concerned about winning the Stanley Cup, but this might be the most egregious snub in NHL history. Just an absolute joke.