Three games into the second-round series against the Florida Panthers, the Toronto Maple Leafs look like a beaten team. They’re down 3-0 in the series, and now, they need to do something that’s almost never been done in NHL history.
In playoff history, only four teams have successfully overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series, and it’s fair to say that the Maple Leafs have a mountain to climb if they want the run to continue.
And if they want to pull off a comeback, they need their star players to perform. And so far, during this series, they really haven’t. So far, during three games against Florida, the Big 4, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner, have combined for 0 goals.
On social media, fans have been critical of how the leading players underperform, and experts are starting to slam them.
”Big boys are non existent. No push. Kampf and Lafferty are the Leafs two best forwards so far,” Paul Bissonnette said on Twitter during Game 3.
”Nylander has been solid. Best of the big boys. Still need more from all of em,” he continued.
On TSN, Craig Button absolutely slammed Auston Matthews when he was compared to someone like Leon Draisaitl. The Edmonton Oilers superstar has 13 goals and 17 points in 8 playoff games this season. In 9 playoff games, Auston Matthews has five goals and 11 points.
”I think the talk about Auston Matthews being one of the best players in the league needs to stop,” he said. ”He is not as good as Draisaitl. He’s not even close to Draisaitl right now. I know he’s a scorer, but in terms of a complete player, not even in that category.”
”He should never be in the conversation until he shows that he’s going to impact the game in the same way.”