You always have to score as much as you can, whenever you can, in hockey. The game is too fast to do otherwise. One bad bounce and your own goalie or leading scorer can be gone, so you can’t ever let up or “go easy.” (Bryz is out because of a bad bounce in a warmup, too. It’s just a less serious injury.) Besides, the other team knows if you’re doing it, and it’s insulting. But it can be tough to keep pounding in this sort of situation.
It’s obvious that this is a symptom of massive back-office churn and score-settling for the Leafs. Being that bad for one season is a problem with coaching and the players. Being that bad for seven seasons in a row, though? That’s a problem the root of which is considerably further upstream. It seems that everyone wants to “save” them, and everyone has their own idea of how to do it. And when a cluster of millionaire men each has their own idea of how to do something, all that results is fighting over the bones and taking the opportunity to settle personal scores.
And meanwhile, the team takes the hit. No hockey player wants to play golf in April. They want to win. But with a massive lack of back-office vision and leadership, it’s not going to happen.