In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll share some thoughts about the Maple Leafs’ season thus far. In these thoughts, I’ll consider whether the Maple Leafs are better this season than last season. That seems to be a key question moving forward for this team.
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In the second part of this post, I’ll take a look at some news emerging from the team as it prepares to play the Buffalo Sabres tonight.
Item One: Is This Team Built for the Postseason and Not the Regular Season?
Are Maple Leafs’ fans trying to have it both ways? On one hand, fans have complained for seasons about the team doing so well during the regular season, but not doing well during the postseason. Now, when the team is struggling in the regular season, they accuse the team’s management of being complacent with being in the top-middle of the pack.
Perhaps the fanbase needs to consider that the Maple Leafs’ management is trying a new strategy. That is, the team might be playing differently during the regular season as a way to try to win in the playoffs and change the narrative that previously this team was only really built for the regular season.
The truth is that right now the Maple Leafs have more points than either of last season’s Stanley Cup finalists. Is the sky falling on them, too?
For the most part this season, the team has played both down and up to its opponents. It lost to some very bad teams and, in some cases, actually played brutally while doing it. The western road trip is a case in point.
On that western trip, the team suffered a stretch of games that made fans wonder if the team could even return to the postseason. Then it returned home for a great stretch of games – with a stinker to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the mix – that made them wonder if the same players actually got off the plane from California.
The fact is that if the Maple Leafs lose a few games on their way to the postseason it isn’t the end of the world. It shouldn’t really matter. Really, the goal is to make the postseason. Then the task is to do well enough in the regular season and then go on an extended run – not the other way around.
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