The nightly barrage of 30-plus shots against the Maple Leafs has not harmed their standing.

But a continued lack of offence definitely will.

Two regulation goals in the past three games, and just three at even-strength stretching back four games, represents the team’s second worst output since Randy Carlyle replaced Ron Wilson in March of 2012.

The weak numbers are nothing to cause Carlyle insomnia at present, as long as signs point to improvement. But that’s the concern, given the ongoing absence of two key centres.

Throw in some penalty kill breakdowns, a run of stingy goaltending from foes and a looming schedule crunch and you can see why Carlyle was too cautious to celebrate his team’s 6-1 start.

After Saturday’s close-but-no-cigar loss to playoff nemesis Boston, the Leafs now enjoy their last three-day break before the Christmas holiday. Starting Wednesday in Minnesota, a team also capable of jamming a stick through Toronto’s spokes, it’s 20 games in 37 nights.

Carlyle and the Leafs know what’s required, the kind of full-court press they showed in Saturday’s second period. Whether it started with captain Dion Phaneuf’s big hit on Daniel Paille or Joffrey Lupul’s nifty goal off the rush, there was a sequence where the Bruins were on the run in their own building.

“That’s more of the type of hockey we are going to ask this club to play,” Carlyle said. “A little bit more of a cycle game, a little bit more of a puck possession game, instead of the up-and-down trading of chances.

“That is the most important thing for us — to get an understanding of how we have to play to be effective both at home and on the road. I think every coach would like their team to play that way, but I don’t know if you expect them to do that for 60 minutes.”

When the Leafs do get rolling, with four lines kicking in gear and using the speed and spunk that has been added the past two years, it’s an impressive sight.