Don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of “What’s wrong with the Toronto Maple Leafs?”-type articles during the next few weeks.

Actually, if you don’t, that might be the biggest deal of all. Mike Babcock’s bunch has already shaken off some turmoil – some of it inner, as young players like Mitch Marner and William Nylander have periodically found themselves lower in the lineup – but the month of December stands as a potentially cruel, cold test.

Take a look at what lies ahead for these young Buds:

Sat, Dec 2 @ Vancouver
Wed, Dec 6 vs Calgary
Sat, Dec 9 @ Pittsburgh
Sun, Dec 10 vs Edmonton
Tue, Dec 12 @ Philadelphia
Thu, Dec 14 @ Minnesota
Fri, Dec 15 @ Detroit
Tue, Dec 19 vs Carolina
Wed, Dec 20 @ Columbus
Sat, Dec 23 @ NY Rangers
Thu, Dec 28 @ Arizona
Fri, Dec 29 @ Colorado
Sun, Dec 31 @ Vegas

You can almost picture the hot takes that could come from a cold streak, particularly during that stretch from Dec. 12-31, when the Maple Leafs play eight of nine games on the road, with some back-to-back headaches added for spice.

“These young Maple Leafs just can’t stay focused.”

“Are the Maple Leafs distracted during the holidays?”