Phrased as though it were a debate resolution, to draw out the fullest discussion.
The Leafs were good last year, better the year before. They weren't cup-contender good, but were playoff good, and one could imagine a series of lucky breaks (which did not happen) getting them through maybe two rounds of playoffs before reality hit them in the face in the form of a big heavy check.
They overpaid young players who can, at their best, put up numbers, but have not to date been able to drive the play their way. They are paid like superstars, but deliver like marginal all-stars, who on other teams make $6-8 million. Yes, there have been a series of injuries, but last year they played some of their best hockey when Matthews was out.
They are like a cake made entirely of icing, and no spongy substance. Oh, Hyman still has substance, but he's not enough. You get the sense Mikheyev could raise his game a lot more, if he had a mentor in his style of play, which he doesn't. That's a problem, because that dogged play is the structure of the cake. Icing can wow the kid who takes a lick, and then wants to eat a cake made entirely of icing. But the adult knows this is going to produce a sugar high and a crash. So they don't buy into something like that.
The defensive corps was seemingly developed for the purpose of scoring more goals, without much thought to preventing goals against, beyond the simple, "they can't score if we have the puck in their end." Surely they didn't think they'd achieve a Corsi of 100%. Rielly is not producing offensively, so his defensive lapses are being openly discussed, where they were previously swept under the carpet. He had a hand in both goals against yesterday, even if that was shared with Spezza and Holl. But he could have prevented both, if he knew what he was doing. What's ironic is he seems to be legitimately hustling and trying. That's not as good as it sounds, because it speaks to how flawed his game really is. And yet he's touted as one of the stalwarts on D, together with his mirror image, Barrie (in that he's a righty). Justin Holl is a strong 3D, but a marginal 2D. He probably needs another season to mature into that role, but necessity dictates he's rushed.
In goal, they don't have any confidence left in Hutch or Kaz, or Freddie would not have played both games. If they give either another chance, it's more an act of desperation than anything else. But even Freddie is only human; he will allow marginal goals at times, and he won't save you from all your defensive mistakes. He wins when you outscore your mistakes, which no longer happens. And it doesn't work in playoffs, but at this point, that looks unlikely to be tested again this year.
Bottom line, they devoted too much cap space to icing, and neglected the structure of the cake. And what they have is a lineup that if given time and space, can wow with sweet plays, but can't put together a well-structured game, and most importantly, win key games.