After finishing fourth in 1992–93 and third in 1993–94, the Maple Leafs fell to fifth place in the Western Conference in 1994–95 and, for the first time in three seasons, they allowed more goals than they scored. The Maple Leafs appeared to be affected considerably by the loss of Clark. Throughout the regular season, Toronto never won more than two games in a row, and finished just two games above .500. In addition, no Toronto player recorded a hat trick. To toughen up their lineup, the Leafs signed Warren Rychel from the Los Angeles Kings midway through the regular season, and on April 7, 1995, they traded center Mike Eastwood and a third-round pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for right wing Tie Domi.
Toronto was the only Western Conference team to score at least one goal in all 48 of its regular-season games in 1994–95 (the Quebec Nordiques and the Buffalo Sabres were the only Eastern Conference teams to accomplish this feat in 1994–95). The Maple Leafs finished sixth in the league in penalty-killing (84.86%) and allowed the most empty-net goals of any team in the league (8).
Although the Maple Leafs were the underdogs against the fourth-place Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round of the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they won the first two games of the series at the United Center and went home to Maple Leaf Gardens for game three with two-games-to-none series lead. However, the Blackhawks played determinedly and won games three and four in Toronto to regain home-ice advantage in the series. Chicago then won game five, 4–2, and looked to clinch the series in game six back in Toronto. The Maple Leafs played a spirited game, going up 4–1 in the third period. The Blackhawks fought back with three consecutive goals to tie the game. At 10:00 of the first overtime period, Randy Wood scored his second goal of the game to give the Maple Leafs a 5–4 win. The victory tied the series at three games apiece and forced game seven back in Chicago. In game seven, Joe Murphy scored twice and Ed Belfour made 22 saves as Chicago advanced to the second round for the first time in three years with a 5–2 win.