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Maple Leafs: the end for this group if Toronto doesn’t win the series, according to Elliotte Friedman
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It seems to be the same speech every year. The Maple Leafs have a good season, with star players in their ranks, and then they get eliminated every year. That’s when people start to believe that the project should end in Toronto.

Trailing 3-1 in their first-round series against the Boston Bruins, the Leafs have very little chance of coming back from behind to win. A comeback is far from impossible, but with the way the group’s top players reacted in Game 4, it doesn’t look good.

Habs fans always take great pleasure in saying that the Maple Leafs should give up and move on. Sure, seeing your rival team pull away always puts a smile on your face.

Except this time, it’s Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who believes it’s really the end for this Maple Leafs group. That’s what he explained on Monday’s edition of his 32 Thoughts podcast.

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“It’s the end for this band if they don’t come back from behind. […] You always have to rely on talent and assume the team can find a way to win, but I don’t think you can do that here anymore.” – Elliotte Friedman

There are a lot of talented players on this team, but they’re all extremely expensive. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, the list goes on, but there’s always something missing from this team, which never manages to have playoff success.

Some would say that Toronto needs to be patient, but Friedman believes that patience will never work.

Steven Stamkos and the Lightning needed many years before lifting the Stanley Cup, and it was the same for Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, but Friedman doesn’t believe this group can ever do that.

Let’s not forget that two major contracts will expire at the end of next season in Toronto. We’re talking about John Tavares and Mitch Marner. As for Tavares, his current contract weighs $11 million on the payroll and he should sign for a smaller amount, if he stays in Toronto.

For Marner, on the other hand, his contract of $10.903 million per season could very well increase with the salary cap, which is also set to rise over the next few years.

Brad Treliving will have his work cut out for him, and many important decisions to make next season. If this group can’t deliver playoff success for Toronto, maybe it’s time to clean house.

The Maple Leafs must win their next game against the Bruins on Tuesday night if they want to stay alive.Auston Matthews‘ situation is not thebest at the moment, however, as he is ill. Toronto will need all their weapons if they hope to stay in the race and save their group.

Breaking news

– Good news.

– Playoff hockey isn’t over for Hendrix Lapierre.

– Just a thought.

– Hellebuyck needs to give a little more.

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