Leafs embrace late-season adversity as playoffs near

It's been a difficult stretch for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the team has suffered three regulation defeats and allowed 23 goals in its last four games.

However, the Leafs remain positive despite the rough patch.

"In our meetings today just talking with one another, we're not sulking or getting down on one another," Auston Matthews told reporters on Monday. "We want to hold each other accountable and be better for one another."

Head coach Mike Babcock believes such a losing skid can help his team grow.

"Adversity is really important for you in life. When you don't have some, you think you should get some so you can get better," Babcock told reporters. "When you get it, you don't want it. We have it right now. Let's pull together."

Goaltender Frederik Andersen has been one of the league's top netminders this season but has posted just a .885 save percentage and 3.97 goals-against average during March.

"I think a little adversity will be good for some teams sometimes, and I'm sure once we work our way out of it, we'll be better off," Andersen said. "You don't feel good doing it, but once you get out of it, you are probably, like I said, better off and learn some very valuable lessons."

The Leafs have 10 games remaining in the regular season and will kick off a two-game road trip against the Nashville Predators and Buffalo Sabres beginning Tuesday.

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