Enough with the Excuses, Leafs fans. They owe us results

It is the 2019-2020 NHL season. The Toronto Maple Leafs, in now their 4th year of having their superstar players, should be great. They were supposed to be contenders. But as each mailed in game passes, it sadly does not look to be the case. This team is extremely broken. Excuses are everywhere. But at this point of their rebuild (which is long over, I might add) the Leafs should be a powerhouse. Instead, they have consistently resembled a playoff bubble team at best. Yet everywhere you look, their fans have provided the Leafs with excuses. After years of building loser after loser, the fans of the team have become complacent with the mediocrity. It is unacceptable, and there should be no mercy on the players, Coach, GM, or President.

We, the fans, stood by when “The Shanaplan” was unveiled. Essentially signing off on multiple years of losing in exchange for a perennial contender. For the most part, Leafs fans are among the most savvy in the the league. We understood what it would take to duplicate the success of teams like Chicago, LA, or Pittsburgh. We signed on, and prepared for the pain promised by Mike Babcock.

But here’s the thing: the club wasted all 3 years of Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews ELC years, and 2 of William Nylander’s. Those were our prime contention years, where we could have absolutely stacked a team around 3 players making the league minimum. They didn’t. And on top of that, the Leafs failed to sign ANY of the 3 players to long term deals until the final moments. So the club not only didn’t make a realistic run (we used it as learning years), but we also did not receive any sort of savings by preemptively signing them before they could, and did, hold us hostage. This was extremely botched by the Leafs, and does not garner nearly enough criticism in my opinion.

Additionally, Mike Babcock has not coached this team to its strengths. Kyle Dubas has yet to deliver any sort of grit, or bell-answerers. The Leafs skill players are not only under-utilized, but they are not even protected. I cannot imagine a worse scenario for them to be in. All the while Brendan Shanahan looks down from his press box, perched in a state of constant indecision, while the franchise spins its tires. They are wasting yet another year of the window, and seem quite content to do so.

But what really gets to me is the fans making excuses for the Leafs, both management and players alike. “Who cares if Matthews plays like he doesn’t care! He scores!” or “Its early in the season! They will catch fire!”. But perhaps even my favourite: “They’ve been injured! Wait until they are healthy!”.

To start from the back, they will never be healthy. You know why? Because every team in the league knows that they can hit any Leafs player with a Rock’em Sock’em open ice hit that would make Don Cherry’s poppy spin, and there will be zero repercussions. If you think the Leafs have had injuries now, you may as well get used to it. Until Dubas delivers someone that can, at the very least, deter guys like Jeff Carter and Jeff Petry from cleaning the clocks of the Leafs stars, then it will continue to happen.

The is an obvious disconnect from the players and the head coach. That much is clear. And the coach and GM clearly arent on the same page. And while it all goes on, nothing ever happens from the President. This is unacceptable, and Leafs fans should be outraged at their collective stubbornness and the indecisive nature of Shanny.

So please, enough with the excuses. You are enabling this bullshit.

Nicky Pizazz
@Nickypizazz on Twitter

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