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It’s time for Toronto’s star players to prove their worth

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Photo credit:© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
1 month ago
Through 41 outings, it’s fair to say that it’s been a rollercoaster season thus far for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After four straight victories to kick off 2024, they’ve dropped three in a row heading into their showdown with the red-hot Oilers in Edmonton on Tuesday night.
There may be plenty of hockey ahead, but weirdly, this four-game road trip in Western Canada (plus Seattle) feels sneaky important for Sheldon Keefe and company.
They’re teetering. Again.
The ink’s not even dry on his monster eight-year extension, and already, William Nylander – warranted or not – has been taking some considerable heat for his play of late. Hell, he even got called out by his head coach after Saturday night’s debacle against Colorado. Suffice it is to say, the celebratory/honeymoon period is over.
To be fair to the $92-million dollar man though, there should be plenty of blame to go around for the team’s lacklustre showing over the weekend. Across the board, it just wasn’t good enough. For the most part, they looked disinterested, lethargic, uninspired, and lacking the killer instinct necessary to bury an opponent. So, in essence, nothing’s really changed from the same old issues plaguing this organization for several seasons now.
Any way you slice it, it’s time for the big boys to rise up. They need to find a way to dig deep, go to work, and get the job done. You want the big money? That’s fine. That said, it’s moments like this – when the team’s floundering and searching for an identity – that the star players need to grab the bull by the horns and will their team to success.
Now’s not a time for talking, it’s a time for action. It’s become borderline tiring to hear everyone talk – day after day after day – about what they need to do to rectify things. Act upon it. End of story.
The next four games could be very telling. Let’s see what this team’s made of.
Buckle up.

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