The Toronto Maple Leafs have kicked off their 2019-20 campaign with an absurd display of their offensive prowess, posting nine goals through their first two games and three tallies through the first half of their tilt with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
But offensive wizardry won’t be enough to bring a Stanley Cup back to Toronto, according to Don Cherry.
“The Leafs, [they’re a] highly-skilled team, I will say. A highly-skilled team, but … you cannot win unless you’re tough in the playoffs,” Cherry said Saturday during Hockey Night in Canada‘s ‘Coach’s Corner’ segment.
Cherry cited the St. Louis Blues’ run to the Cup as the clearest evidence of this formula for success, with the rough-and-tumble Blues getting there playing a far more physical game than the Leafs.
Toronto was ousted from the post-season in the first round by the Boston Bruins, who fell short against St. Louis in that 2019 Cup Final.
“You cannot win unless you’re tough,” Cherry continued. “They might get by the second round but they’ll never win the Stanley Cup, I’m sorry to say, because they’re not tough enough.”
Toronto was out-hit 44-17 in their season-opener against Ottawa (a 5-3 Leafs win) and 20-18 in their second game of the year, against Columbus (a 4-1 Leafs win).