The Leafs’ defence is thin and weak.
During the regular season, the Leafs allowed 222 goals, which was good for 25th in the NHL. That is poor, especially when considering they have a more than capable netminder in Frederik Andersen.
They can score as well as any team in the NHL, but in the playoffs, chances are limited, and teams adjust to your strengths. You cannot keep winning games 6-5 in the playoffs.
Their team defence was abysmal and had a frustrating penchant for cycling the puck IN THEIR OWN END. Countless times in the playoffs, instead of breaking out, the Leafs would just keep moving the puck back further in their own end until one poor guy was left with two forecheckers on him behind the net.
Individually, only Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin could be said to have decent seasons. Neither one is a legitimate number one defenceman. Rielly profiles as a number two defenceman, and Muzzin is a solid second pairing player.
After that, it is pretty grim for the Leafs. Cody Ceci was somehow on the top pairing with Rielly, despite ranking 94th among all right defenceman in the NHL, according to Daily Faceoff.
Tyson Barrie was inconsistent all season after coming over in the Nazem Kadri trade (Miss you, Naz!). He is an unrestricted free agent next year and almost surely will not be back (more on that shortly).
Justin Holl and Travis Dermott are bottom pairing defenceman at best, but were often asked to play more significant roles. The team has Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren coming up, but I don’t think any of us will be telling our grandkids about them.