Keys to the offseason: Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are brimming with elite young talent like Auston Matthews, left, and William Nylander. Now, they must bolster their defensive ranks. Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

At the start of the series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals, it was the Stanley Cup contender without any discernible holes versus the young kids who should be happy just to be there.

That’s not how it played out. At all.

The Maple Leafs proved they were up to the task against a team built to win it all now, and the expectation should be that they’ll join Washington and Pittsburgh among the favorites to win the East next season. That’s how good they looked. That’s how bright the future is in Toronto. That team is on an impressive trajectory.

But first, GM Lou Lamoriello has some tweaking to do in order to get the Maple Leafs to the next level, starting here: