And then they were dead. Officially anyhow.
A season lost — frittered away game by game, lousy shift after lousy shift, post-Olympics — on so many levels and in so many ways, in so many different areas, it’s hard to know where to begin.
That’s the challenge, isn’t it, for Dave Nonis, the general manager? To try and take stock of everything that has happened with his Maple Leafs team. To try and compartmentalize the multitude of failure in the 20 games post-Sochi.
The strength of Nonis is his unemotional approach to the job.
That strength will now be tested greater than it has at any time in his career as a general manager.
Now it’s his vision that matters more than anything else.
The Leafs have won six games since the Olympic break. Six games. Six of 20: 53-point pace. Before the Olympics, demonstrating many of the flaws that have plagued them in the last quarter, they played at 95-point pace. The difference in results, the same team, same players, getting little out of anything, unable to find a way.