There’s no question that the 2019-2020 Toronto Maple Leafs are a talented bunch and a team that can, on paper, go all the way to Finals. However, after a tough 5-4 loss to the Islanders on Wednesday night, the Leafs have now tied a season low with three consecutive losses.

Captain John Tavares was statistically the best Leaf on Wednesday night as he was the only Leafs player to have a multi-point game and was also tied for the best plus minus rating on the team at +1. You think Tavares wanted to win that game with all the boo’s and the “we don’t need you” chants raining down on him throughout the game in Long Island? Tavares answered the bell with a solid performance but the Leafs let him down with some questionable decisions and yet another sluggish start.

With roughly a quarter of the season in the books, the Leafs are on pace for a measly 90 points, which would more than likely not be enough to make it to the post-season. The issue with the Leafs has nothing to do with their skill, but it has everything to do with their will, their effort, their compete level, their determination and their sacrifice.

Unfortunately for the Leafs, raw talent alone is not going to end the 52 year cup drought. The effort that the Leafs have had, particularly to start games, has been flat out pathetic. The Leafs have not had a lead after the first period in any of their last 11 games. Also, they have been outscored 9-1 combined in their last 3 first periods.

It has become a trademark of this team to have a horrendous start to the game and then play catch up in the latter stages of the game. They simply look uninterested to start the games and nobody, including coach Mike Babcock, can figure out a solution to get them to play a full 60 minutes every night.

You could tell that the Leafs desperately wanted to tie the game in the dying seconds of the 3rd period on Wednesday night to defend their Captain from the hostile crowd but once again it was too little too late. The Leafs look to snap their three game losing streak against their greatest rival the Boston Bruins on Friday night.