October 29th: 7-1 loss to Washington
November 6th: 5-1 loss to Ottawa
November 24th: 5-1 loss to Phoenix
December 29th: 6-1 loss to the Rangers
January 9th: 5-0 loss to Anaheim
February 5th: 8-0 loss to Florida
These are the worst blowouts against the Leafs this year, and indeed the list is long and painful.
For Cliff Fletcher, this string of defeats is indicative of flaws requiring far more than a tweak or two. The Leafs’ problems run deep.
These continual blowouts, one after the other, demonstrate the weak mental make-up of the team. These players lack the competitive drive to be NHL winners.
One wonders how many times a team needs to hear that they must bring their best efforts every night? Obviously, these players have incredibly short memories, or perhaps they just have very little pride.
When Fletcher looks at rebuilding this team, the long list of blowouts should tell him that the team not only needs the tangibles—speed, skill, and defense—but those hidden qualities, too, the ones denoting real champions’ hearts—pride, intensity, deep competitive drive, and true (not token) grit.
Indeed, this must be a total rebuild. Too much is broken, inside and out.