Leafs start to feel heat as struggles mount

Toronto Maple Leafs left winger James van Riemsdyk skates with the puck as Washington Capitals...

Toronto Maple Leafs left winger James van Riemsdyk skates with the puck as Washington Capitals centre Mikhail Grabovski chases in the third period at Verizon Center on Jan. 10. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

IAN SHANTZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

More than halfway through the season, and the Maple Leafs are firmly in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Despite that fact, thanks to a cringe-worthy losing funk, Leafs Nation has taken on the feel of Pitchfork Nation in recent days, with many calling for coach Randy Carlyle’s head.

Maybe, just maybe, as the mental wrestling continues to swirl within the team’s emotional fan base — some are taking the half-full approach, some half-empty, while others have half a mind to rip this team apart and start anew — there is a middle ground to be found.

One half-full take has the Leafs, often overlooked as being one the league’s youngest teams, in striking range of back-to-back playoff berths despite the collection of deficiencies that have bubbled to the surface over the losing course of the past several weeks.


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