This may sound crazy, but the Toronto Maple Leafs need to stop winning immediately.
It was a thrilling game on Wednesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs narrowly defeated the Dallas Stars 5-4 on home ice. The game had everything you hoped for, and Toronto’s core four were spectacular. However, that’s the issue.
For the past six years, we’ve known that the likes of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares are amazing. All four of these players have been the reason why this team has continued to make the playoffs for a league-best seven years in a row, and they continue to perform on a nightly basis. Ninety percent of the jerseys worn at Scotiabank Arena have one of those four names on the back of them, and us fans should be thrilled that they’ve been a part of this organization for so long.
So, why am I mad about their success? Well, during the Leafs 5-4 win, each one of those four players scored a goal, with Nylander contributing two of his own. There were 11 total points contributed by Toronto, and the core four had nine of them, with Matthew Knies, and Tyler Bertuzzi each registering an assist themselves.
Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Stop Winning
With that being said, the top six was the reason for victory, yet it was barely enough to get the job done. Despite their best efforts, the Leafs still allowed four goals, as their defense and goaltending continued to be an issue. In addition, their bottom six didn’t register a point either, which is troubling when five goals were scored.
I know that Simon Benoit has been a solid player for the Leafs lately, but he averaged the second-most amount of ice time for the team on Wednesday night, which should never happen. Basically, the team’s top players bailed the rest of the squad out and were the only reason they won.
This is a fine recipe during the regular season, but it can’t happen in the playoffs. During a seven-game playoff series, coaches have a much easier time shutting down the opposition’s best players, so they will find a way to stop Matthews, Marner, Tavares, and Nylander, as they always do.
As crazy as it sounds, I truly think that wins like this are hurting the overall future of this team. I can’t stress it enough, but this team is not going anywhere unless they trade for a Franchise Goalie or find two more top-four defensemen. The Leafs top four forwards are elite, but they can’t be the only offensive output, as it doesn’t work in the playoffs.
I want big changes to happen, but it’s not going to happen if they keep winning. Hopefully, Brad Treliving and the rest of the group can understand that these types of victories don’t work in the playoffs, and they can make a splash before the NHL Trade Deadline.