Toronto Maple Leafs: Okay, NOW it’s time to panic

Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates away after hte Boston Bruins scored. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates away after hte Boston Bruins scored. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Being down 2-0 in a playoff series is one thing, but it’s the manner of the losses by the Toronto Maple Leafs which is cause for concern.

No one expected this. No one. While it was always conceivable the Toronto Maple Leafs could lose the first two games of this series, the manner of the defeats has been stunning.

The Leafs looked listless in Game 1, but the feeling was the performance was a one-off. How wrong we were.

Game 2 was all but over after the opening period. Frederik Andersen‘s playoff nightmare continued, as he allowed three goals on just five shots.

This led to Andersen being replaced with 7:47 remaining in the first, even though he couldn’t really be blamed for any of the goals. The Bruins went on to score another one and they led 4-0 after 20 minutes.

The Leafs showed a bit more fight in the remaining 40 minutes. However, this was in large part because the Bruins took their foot off the pedal, and even the final scoreline of 7-3 was flattering to the Buds.

Going into the series, we knew the Leafs’ blue line was the weakness. However, even the most pessimistic fan probably didn’t expect to see their team allow 12 goals in the opening two games.

Andersen has been fantastic all season, able to cover for his defencemen on numerous occasions. However, even he has been below par so far and you have to wonder if his confidence is now shot.

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It doesn’t help that the Leafs’ usually explosive offense has been largely impotent. Again, no one could have predicted this.

And look no further than the Leafs’ top line, to get an idea of how bad things are right now. Through two games, Auston Matthews and William Nylander have zero points.

Compare this to the Bruins’ top line, with Patrice Bergeron and company totaling 20 points. This included 14 on Saturday night, as David Pastrnak earned the first star with a hat-trick and six overall points.

Surely this disparity between the two top lines can’t continue? If it does, then we can assume this series will be over in four games, five at the most.

At least the Leafs now get to return to the ACC, something with coach Mike Babcock talked about, when assessing the disaster which occurred on Saturday night. As reported by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star, Babcock said:

"“We’ve got to go home and get regrouped. So that’s our first priority. We’ve got to go home, get out of here.“I mean, it obviously hasn’t gone the way we want it — we’ve given up 12 goals in two games. So we’ve got to go get some home cooking and come back and pull like we can, because we’re a way better team than what we showed.”"

Certainly, Babcock is right about that; the Leafs are a better team than they’ve showed so far through this series. Unfortunately for the coach, that doesn’t mean a damn thing right now.

People will no doubt point to the suspension of Nazem Kadri as being a defining factor. However, even his absence shouldn’t have resulted in the Buds being so thoroughly dominated on Saturday night.

Regardless, the team still has two more games to survive without Kadri. And if they don’t buck up their ideas, there will be no series for the hot-headed centre to return to.

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Where do you believe the series will go from here? Do you see the Toronto Maple Leafs rebounding at the ACC, or will the Bruins finish them off in four/five games? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.