It's reality check time for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After starting the season with four straight victories -- four triumphs that had Leaf fans pinching themselves - those same Maple Leafs are winless in three straight games heading into Tuesday's home skirmish against Florida.
The Leafs no longer occupy top spot in the Eastern Conference standings, and chances are they won't reach those lofty heights again this season.
And unless they regroup quickly, the Leafs will plunge deeper in the East standings -- familiar territory for this team over the past several years.
Having said that, the Leafs' recent play is probably a more realistic reflection of the talent on the bench.
While players will tell you they hate losing, the Leafs have shown signs that they are back to their old ways -- lax effort, sloppy turnovers, poor defensive coverage. Could it be that the dreaded "Blue and White disease" -- which is how general manager Brian Burke describes complacency -- has set in again?
The Leafs have struggled offensively in their three straight losses, during which the offensive production was a mere four goals.
Throw in the fact they've mustered only 32 shots in their last two games and there is more reason for concern.
Not to keep piling on, but two players -- Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur -- have accounted for 12 of the 20 goals the Leafs have scored this season.
Has anyone seen supposed second-line centre Mikhail Grabovski? He's still without a goal and hasn't been much of a presence so far.
And wasn't Kris Versteeg (one goal, minus-four) signed as a free agent to bolster the attack.
The lack of secondary scoring speaks directly to the lack of depth. It was unrealistic to make second-year player Tyler Bozak the No. 1 centre coming out of training camp. Here's a guy who had all of 37 NHL career games under his belt being asked to play the part of linchpin on the team's top offensive unit.
But the Leafs' dearth of scoring hasn't been restricted to the forwards.
Toronto's defence has generated just two goals this season, and both Tomas Kaberle and Dion Phaneuf (who is a minus-6) are each looking for their first tally of the season.
If you are not scoring, the least you can do is prevent goals but the defence had a collective brain cramp in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Philadelphia. Glaring turnovers that you might expect to see at a pee-wee house league bit the Leafs hard against the Flyers.
What makes this doubly puzzling is the fact those same Maple Leaf blueliners played so solidly over the team's first four games.
Last but not least, the Leafs' power play has sputtered of late and is currently ranked 18th overall, running at a 12.5 per cent success rate.
After the Panthers, Toronto faces Boston and the New York Rangers for a third time this month to close out October.
Anything short of a .500 record will be cause for concern, and what will be interesting to see is how Burke reacts.
Nazem Kadri has brushed off a slow start in the minors and is gaining confidence as a pro with the Toronto Marlies. But it's a stretch to think he is a cure-all to the Leafs' ills.
Burke is working the telephones, trying to make a deal, but he has competition in the marketplace.
So in the meantime, it's time for Phaneuf to step up as a leader and try to right this ship. Without a captain last season, the Leafs moved from loss to loss aimlessly, but the team doesn't have that excuse now.
If Phaneuf doesn't step up and make his teammates accountable, then the plunge to the basement of the Eastern Conference will come quick, and things could get real messy then.