Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/23/15
The Toronto Maple Leafs failed in their quest to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in a decade when they lost 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. After the Leafs’ lackluster performance, Leafs winger and alternate captain Phil Kessel was willing to take the blame for the team’s embarrassing finish. “I haven’t been good enough for the last 15 games. I need to be better,” Kessel said Tuesday night, per TSN’s Jonas Siegel.  “Obviously I’m really disappointed and I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down.” “It was a long year and we fought hard,” Kessel added, per The Globe and Mail. “These last 10 games here we just didn’t get it done.” Kessel deserves some of the blame for the Leafs’ fall, but he’s not the main source of failure. He was a bit inconsistent, but the veteran winger is tied for fifth in the NHL scoring (80 points) and ranks fifth in goals (37). However, Kessel has scored just five goals since March 1 (19 games), including one in his last seven games. Following an impressive 3-1 road win over a talented Anaheim Ducks on March 10, Toronto went 3-11 in its next 14 games to go from being in one of the three Northeast Division playoff spots to mathematically eliminated from contention. That includes an eight-game losing streak from March 16 through March 29. Leafs got only four points in the last 26 days. Eight teams passed them in that time.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) April 09, 2014 The Leafs have missed the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. Their one trip to the postseason during that span ended in heartbreak when they blew a 4-1 third-period lead to the Boston Bruins and lost 5-4 in overtime in Game 7 of last year’s first-round series.Filed under: NHL, Nicholas Goss, Top Stories, Toronto Maple Leafs
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

Jeremy Maclin says he still believes in Chip Kelly

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.