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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Heading into this series it was pretty predictable that the Bruins were going to have better goaltending regardless of if Ullmark or Swayman ended up playing. What the Leafs needed in this series was for their goalies to provide steady performances and saves in big spots. Samsonov was unable to provide that for the most part.

Ilya Samsonov started five of the seven games in this series and wasn't good enough. He played well in game two but outside of that he allowed some soft goals at crucial points in the game. Joseph Woll got into games five and six where he was spectacular in both games but suffered an injury that kept him out of game seven which leads me to my next point.


As much as I, as well as the majority of Leafs nation, are sick of these points that look like excuses, injuries did hamper this team. Mitch Marner's high-ankle sprain was not fully healed in the palyoffs and the Leafs were without Matthews for two games, Nylander for three games, McMann for the series and Woll for game seven. The tough part of the Leafs is after eight years of failure you don't get passes on stuff like this and you need to produce results.

Lack of Offence

Much like most of the playoff series, the Leafs have been involved in during this era of the franchise, scoring dried up. John Tavares didn't produce enough but that isn't really his fault - the Leafs employed a one-dimensional centre who is the NHL's highest paid fourth liner, but despite this, they hard-matched Tavares against Pastrnak and sabatoged their ability to create offense while doing so.

Tavares needs to score more, but he also started most of his shifts in the dzone and was on the ice constantly with one of the top-five players in the NHL (and who it must be said, he did a good job of shutting down).

In addition to Tavaers, the Leafs already discussed power-play, the injuries to superstars, was the complete lack of scoring from the bottome six.

The fourth line is an offensive black-hole, while CalleJarnkrok also did not score.


The Leafs were also unable to get much depth scoring in this series. It's unfortunate that Bobby McMann was injured because I think he could have added some much-needed depth to the lineup.