What Went Wrong For the Toronto Maple Leafs This Year?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The Make up of The Defence

There's no secret what Brad Treliving tried to do with this blueline.

It was the most physical defensive core this team has had in the Matthews era and plays like the Joel Edmundson hit on David Pastrnak in game seven headlined that.

While physicality is an important part of playoff hockey and you need that on your defence, the Maple Leafs were incapable of moving the puck this series.

The Blue-Line was completely incompatible with the group of forwards the Leafs deployed and this created a major problem come playoff time.

Looking up and down this lineup the only guys that can move the puck are Morgan Rielly, Timothy Lijegren and Connor Timmins.

The rest of them are among the worst puck-handlers in the NHL.

Timmins can handel the puck, but he was a non-option for Sheldon Keefe for reasons beyond my understanding.

Time after time in the Boston series the puck went back to the point and the play died. For some reason Joel Edmundson was getting into great position and multiple times he receieved a great pass or a rebound only to remember at the last second that he was Joel Edmundson and so of course all those scoring chances went to waste.

Heading into next season, puck-moving defencemen who are reliable in their own end are what the Leafs need to focus on. They simply cannot load their blue-line up with the kind of players they had this season.