There is a quote usually attributed to Albert Einstein, which is as follows:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Einstein never said this, and it would be strange for him to do so given the importance of repetition in scientific experiments. And it’s not the most accurate wording to begin with: “madness” here means “to make a bad decision” despite the word that evokes mental illness. But this quote is nonetheless loved by people who want to insist on making a change and finding the first intelligent man of the 20th century as a manual authority.
You can probably guess the Toronto Maple Leafs link without having the usual second paragraph transition. The Leafs are knocked out in Game 7 of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the fifth consecutive time they have lost a playoff game with the winner taking it all since Auston Matthews was drafted. Despite this, the Leafland’s mood is, if not entirely cheerful, at least indulgent. A hard-earned streak of fighting against the double defense champion looks better than a lame-dropping collapse against the rogue Montreal Canadiens.
On a related note, there may not be major changes coming to the team. Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said general manager Kyle Dupas and coach Sheldon How will return. Dubas provided quotes confirming that he was not interested in making moves in order to make moves.
It seems almost beside the point to note that the regular season was a great success for Toronto. Nobody cares about the regular season despite it being what we spend six months watching; Toronto was ranked with the best teams in hockey and might have won the President’s Cup if Peter Mrazek hadn’t fallen apart. Statistically they belong to the upper class. Although I can hear you. We care about the playoffs.
If you think (I do) that going even against the Tampa Bay Lightning means you’re at the contender level, then you’re probably fine with the team standing your bet. A less successful move under Dubas was the Nazim Qadri trade, which was at least partly provoked by the feeling that the team king To do something after Nas suspended himself for the second straight playoff. In retrospect, the overreaction to a comma streak in the other direction led to the stupid Leafs front desk in recent memory hiring David Clarkson. A more calm and collected response sounds fine – if you buy that the team is already close.
But not everyone feels this way. there Aloud A segment of fans believes that the recent loss in the playoff is evidence of the same damn thing that has cost Toronto the past five years: a lack of killer instinct. Toronto only scored one goal against the Bolts en route to a 2-1 loss in Game 7. (Well, one goal was allowed to count.) No matter how respected they were, they didn’t score enough to win. When the chips fall, when the heat burns, the battle is at its height, when the wheat separates from the chaff, when the [editor’s note: he wanted to do like twenty of these]—This is when Leafs fail. They have failed before and failed again, and what do we expect if we give them another chance? Defining insanity, as falsified by Albert Einstein and NA’s 1983 handbook, does the same thing and expects different results.
Let’s explore that. What is the same thing they keep doing?
What are they doing wrong?
loses! Like a bunch of losers.
Well, but beyond that. When Kyle Dupas succeeded Lou Lamoriello in 2018, the Leafs had just lost Game 7 to the Boston Bruins. There are exactly four players from that squad still on the team until 2022: Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Morgan Riley. So since that seventh game, the Leafs have changed their general manager, coach, and roster almost entirely. This leaves us with three possibilities:
a) Everything that is wrong with The Leafs pursues them despite interruptions in staff, like a curse on a Gothic mansion
b) Everything that is wrong with the Leafs is concentrated in these four players
c) There is at least some bad luck involved here and what happened to previous teams doesn’t necessarily tell us much about where they are now.
I think we can all agree that foliage has disturbed a malevolent spirit at some point, and in fact there is not much to do except summon exorcists of different faiths until the hungry ghost is appeased. I suppose that’s the purpose of the analytics section.
There’s a less supernatural and more psychological angle about this, though: here we go again Feeling. It is the opposite of the old saying that nothing succeeds like success. The idea is that Leaf, having lost when it was supposed to win on many occasions, suffers from doubt at critical points. Doubt is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a game like hockey, rewarding instinct and punishing indecision. With group psychology being what it is, this feeling spreads throughout the team even when different players come and go over time. That’s why these awesome regular-season stats don’t quite amount to wins in the supplement: There’s a specific thing going wrong when chips go haywire, dropping that team from contender to pretender.
It’s hard to prove or disprove, but I noticed something. In Game 5 and in Game 6, the Leafs came back from two goals behind and played very well against the best opponent they faced in the final. “But they lost the series!” Yeah. They lost the series. If you want to sum it up for losers, losers, and winners, that’s fine. But if you want to start explaining Why They are lost and why this justifies the changes you want to make, you need to establish your own diagnosis before prescribing your treatment. In the last eight periods of the first round, the foliage hasn’t played like it used to Here we are again. They played like competitors. Playing like competitors is usually considered a prerequisite to being competitive.
This does not mean that I think the ghost is gone, or that there is no longer any doubt. Winning only kills demons. And against Montreal I It was Frustrated with Toronto’s performance in the last two games. But if I had to assess what the team put in front of me this year, I wouldn’t see the team stifling. I think any mentality the Buds had in this series is one that can win a round, maybe four.
The basic four
Well, what about those four players? Or five, if you want to include John Tavares.
Some people actually want to include John Tavares. But there is not much benefit. He’s the biggest UFA signing in the team’s history, he’s the captain, he’s moved his family here, and he has a complete no-move clause. He does not leave. Yes, it’s getting old, but there’s no point in preoccupying ourselves with changes that won’t happen, whether under Kyle Dupas or the fictional GM successor you choose.
Nobody who doesn’t take hallucinogenic drugs wants to trade Austin Matthews. There is an unreasonable case for trading with Morgan Riley, but he also has a no-move clause; If you really think Riley needs to go, that’s an argument to fire Dubbas. But Riley is staying, and for now, so is the General Manager who has extended it. That leaves Mitch Marner and William Nylander.
I’ve said in the past that Toronto should consider trading Marner, and I wouldn’t rule that out now. If a team offers you a king ransom, listen by all means. But Marner is a player with 100-point potential, plays in all positions, and has answered at least some of the questions about his playoff performance this year. A contract like his would put a lot of pressure on the receiving team, and it’s hard to find a workable deal that makes the foliage better. If there is one out there, take it! But other than that, as Dubbas said: There’s no point in forcing yourself into a deal that makes you worse.
He’s Nylander, of course, a lot of people want him to leave. While joking about himself, he traded fantasy every summer he was here, despite the absolutely stellar production. (At a 5v5 point average, he’s the second best card in the last three seasons, behind the glorified Jason Spiza.) That doesn’t mean you can’t trade it; As with Marner, you should listen. If you think you can find a better fit with John Tavares to support the second line or add a punch to the third line, by all means do so. However, there is a difference between this mindset and the quote we started with.
Did the Leafs lose because they were one goal shorter when it counted, or did they lose because they were fatally flawed? that’s what definition of madness Quote stands here. If there’s something fundamentally wrong that they’ve been doing since the Boston Series, it needs to be found and fixed. But I want more than “lost”. I want more than “Something must be wrong because they have lost so many times.”
The that they Who played Tampa Bay Lightning was not that they Who lost to Boston, or even Montreal. Many players are completely new; Those who stayed grew up. Qualifiers require us to make judgments based on a few matches, on a few defining moments. If we were to condemn the roster based on how the last series ended, it’s also true that we give them credit for how they played against the bolts.
I’d like to roll heads, to get some menu response to the frustration that no series wins. I may also be wrong; Maybe this is a mirage. Even if I’m right, the Leafs could come up again and see them in the first round in 2023, and then there’s will That would be big changes, without a doubt.
However, in the modern NHL, all you can do is build a great team, keep trying to improve, and hope your number comes up. The team I’ve seen in the past few weeks hasn’t quelled my hope that it might be possible. So listen to the stars, tool around the edges, and if there’s no heist trade on display, turn it back on. The foliage is meaningless anyway. Perhaps the correct answer involves some insanity.