Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Things not to say to a Leafs fan, who to trade, blaming Tavares and more: DGB Mailbag

It’s the spring, the weather’s getting nice, the lawn needs some work, and the birds are chirping. It must be time for a “the Leafs just lost in the first round” mailbag.

I will say this – compared to last year’s edition, there was far less angst this time around. Many of you are disappointed, or even ticked off, but the doom-and-gloom of last year’s mailbag was nowhere to be found. Everyone who wrote in sounded, dare I say it, reasonable.

I’m not sure if that’s a good sign, or it means we’ve all given up. Either way, let’s get into it.

My question is How can you run the same core out year after year only to watch them fail? Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylandar and Rielly are arguably the most talented core in the league, but they have failed so many times in a row. How can you not look at all of the success that they’ve had in the regular season and see no correlation in the playoffs without changing a couple of them out?

My life would be so much easier if I cheered for Buffalo. – Adam K.

OK, maybe they weren’t all reasonable. Cheer for Buffalo? Dude, back away from the cliff.

But other than that, Adam does a good job of representing the “change it up” side. Maybe not blow it up entirely, but what I described in Monday’s debate column as change for the sake of the change. It’s not an unreasonable take, even if you think the current team is good, because you’d think there can only be so many times that you fail before you have to mix it up somehow.

As I argued in that piece, everything should at least be on the table. We all know that in the cap-era NHL, especially when the cap has been flat for years, it’s hard to pull off major overhauls. We can hot stove a bunch of blockbusters, but we know they probably won’t happen. The most likely scenario is that the core is back, and we all settle in to watch the same movie again. Part seven will have a different ending, right?

Same as it ever was. But with one key difference – compared to the last few years, there was one name that came up way more often in fan frustration, so let’s get to that next…

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