John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo
What's Gone Wrong: The pressure in Toronto is incredible, and the Leafs had a terrific start. This came despite some real concerns about shot differential and luck, but the wins kept coming and life was good. After a 6-1 start, the Leafs are 18-19-4 and slipped down the standings. They've gone from first in the Eastern Conference to eighth, and are hanging on to the last playoff spot by a thread.
Possible Solutions: The Leafs are made over in the image of Randy Carlyle. They are truculent, difficult to outmuscle and play an aggressive brand of hockey. However, they don't have the puck very often, and that leads to being outscored a lot. Toronto led opponents 27-16 in the first seven games, but are 109-133 since then.
The Stakes: GM Dave Nonis is on record as saying Randy Carlyle's job is not in jeopardy. The Leafs and their fan base had high expectations entering the season. If Toronto misses the playoffs this year, Randy Carlyle could be in the job market come June.