The Toronto Maple Leafs: Better, Worse, or The Same?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Toronto Maple Leafs:

Better, Worse, Or The Same?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made the playoffs two straight years. However some big pieces have moved in the offseason including the acquisition of John Tavares and dropping the likes of JVR and Bozak amongst others.

In this article over a quarter of the season in we will look at The Toronto Maple Leafs and if they are better, worse or the same as last year. We will also take a look at if they will make the cup, where they will finish in the playoffs, and what was right and wrong this offseason and regular season.

Things the Leafs did right in the offseason included picking up John Tavares, the end of the Lou saga, and freeing up cap room. Now obviously when you bring in a new GM and especially a young buck like a Kyle Dubas over an experienced guy like Lou Lamoriello, you’ll have some upset fans much like I was at first. How do you fix that problem?

The acquisition of one John Tavares, not only did Dubas sign J.T. but to do it he beat out Lamoriello who became the new GM of Tavares’s former team the Islanders, who obviously wanted to keep the star and captain in Long Island.

Another big thing they did was free up cap which was desperately needed for the abundance of young talented players about to come off their entry-level deals.

Things the Leafs did wrong in the offseason included dumping JVR and McElhinney and not striking a deal with Nylander fast enough. Part of being a GM is cap control, not everyone can keep their jobs and they have to make the right deal with the right guys.

JVR is good for 50 goals a season and clicks as a locker room leader for the young Leafs however when it came negotiation time they just couldn’t afford to keep him on the roster so that one is a move on, especially when you get a guy like Tavares when compared to JVR or even him and Bozak combined.

However one that stings more is getting rid of McElhinney a solid backup goalie who knows his role on the team, since leaving the Leafs he’s been an absolute star for Carolina when their starter went down with an injury and what about the Leafs new backup who was promoted from within?

Well we’ll get to that in the next part of the article when discussing regular season hits and misses. Now we have to get into the long, long, long often and I mean OFTEN talked about Nylander situation, it was reported ever since the offseason that the Leafs were going to sign him regardless if that was the case why did they wait until the very last-minute of the last hour of the last day that they could under league rules sign him?

Also Read:  Stanley Cup Playoffs: Three Stars of the Week

Now when he plays thus far since coming back he looks like a guy who hasn’t broken into playing NHL hockey in almost a year and that is bringing the whole team down.

2018/2019 Quarter Season Hits and Misses:

Hit: Power Play Production

The Leafs are producing well as a unit with 19 Power Play goals which is a big step up from the way they played on the Double P last season. Now they have a top 5 Power Play Unit in all the league.

Miss: Garret Sparks as a Backup Goalie

Although looking at the numbers as a whole with Sparky having a .913 save percentage and a winning record in the games he’s played he doesn’t look to be in the zone. The saves he does make look more lucky and sloppy than they look good.

With Big Mac over in Carolina looking hot was now the time to promote Sparks or should they have kept McElhinney another year and moved Sparks up and down? I believe the latter. Sparks doesn’t have the experience and could have played another season in the AHL while moving up 10-12 games for the Buds.

Hit: Production All Around

If you want to win games you need goals and with 4 Leafs currently in the top 10 for points they are doing just that. They have players who are excited and feeding off each other which is creating great chances set up by good passes.

Miss: Losing to the Same Teams the Same Way.

Another big issue with The Leafs is their inability to beat teams that can outplay them physically or defensively.

In the recent loss to Boston they got out physically played which lead to dumb penalties and mistakes which cost them the game. If they can’t beat Boston or the following game with Tampa Bay then they can’t win the cup.

Now we’ll put everything together and figure out if the Leafs make the cup or where they will finish.

I would predict by taking all things into account that The Leafs will: Not Win The Cup. The Leafs will however make the second round of the playoffs after finishing 2nd in the East and having home ice advantage. I predict that Toronto loses in 5-6 games in Round 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

America’s Largest Amateur League Shines in Baseball’s “Lost Season”

2020 will forever be remembered as baseball’s lost season. The sport was shattered due to the COVID-19 pandemic virus outbreak. Baseball fans were out of luck this summer as they were entirely restricted from attending any professional or semi-pro live games. Watching on television or live stream wasn’t much better. Most of the MLB season was cancelled including the pre-season, the much anticipated Iowa Field of Dreams game, Puerto Rico series, London Series and All...

IPL: Mumbai Indians Lose Season Opener

Mumbai Indians lost an Indian Premier League (IPL) opener for the 8th successive year following a 5-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings. Having lost the first game of the season in the last 7 years, Mumbai might have thought this was their time, as they were on a 5-game winning run against CSK. However, ex Mumbai Indians player Ambati Rayudu and South African superstars Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi ensured that it didn’t...

When Did Formula One Begin?

If you ask virtually anyone the world over a simple question – “What is Formula One” they will probably get the answer correct.  It’s a car race!  Even though that might be a very simple reply (a better answer would be it’s the highest class of international single-seater auto-racing!) there is another question that will probably stump them.  That question is “When did Formula One begin?”. In order to answer the question properly we need...

Stanley Cup Finals: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars

After nearly two months of play in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, one more team, either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Dallas Stars will have their bubble burst as the other emerges as the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals champions. The Stars won two games against the Lightning in the regular season, each in overtime (4-3 on December 19; 3-2 on January 27) The Lightning representing the Eastern Conference made it to the...

The Cleveland Browns Are Looking Up

The Cleveland Browns have a team that had a ton of questions this year. They came into the game against the Bengals unsure of how they were going to get their offense going. While the Bengals aren't at all a good defense, it's still hard to play those divisional games and win. The AFC North is known for brutally cold weather that makes it nearly impossible to stay sharp, yet they were sharp offensively....

The Case For Rocky Marciano

You wouldn't think, not even for a second, that you would have to defend a world champion boxer who retired with an unblemished record of 49-0 (43 KO's), but if it's Rocky Marciano we're talking about then yep, he needs to be defended. It's ridiculous, but true. Marciano seems to have as many naysayers as he does fans. "He was too small", "He never fought anybody in their prime", "He'd get killed today"; etc....

Fantasy Basketball: The Best Draft Pick Techniques You Should Know

Image Source Fantasy Basketball gives everyone the anticipation that keeps you up at night just to draft the ultimate fantasy basketball line-up. Your ultimate goal is to dominate any opponent all season. Sadly, not everyone has the skills and experience to win. Remember that if you are considering joining a fantasy basketball league, you need to consider some factors. Successful players and experts choose more than their favorite team or a player's value. Even if you...

2020 NBA Western Conference Finals: A Victor Emerges

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets will meet for the second time in the NBA Western Conference Finals. The Lakers managed to breeze through Portland and Houston in the first two rounds, while Denver has proven themselves to be true underdogs, coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Utah and the L.A. Clippers. Will the Lakers blow past the Nuggets, or will Denver pull off another unimaginable moment in the playoffs?   Point Guard:...

Why Did the Clippers Fail in the NBA Playoffs?

Lets make one thing clear; the Nuggets won that series because they were a better team than the Clippers. They outplayed the Clippers in the NBA playoffs, plain and simple. Yes the Clippers did underperform, it was due to the Nuggets were elite. They were one of the hottest teams in the bubble and they've gotten it done. Jamal Murray has developed into an elite scorer, the Joker has kept up his elite play, and...

Leinster VS Ulster: Pro 14 Champions Final 2020

The annual Pro 14 tournament was wrapped up as the final whistle blew at The Aviva Stadium in Dublin this past weekend. Leinster reigned in as the Pro 14 Champions 2020 against an enthusiastic Ulster team, winning 27-5, to become the first side ever to win three consecutive Pro 14 titles. The Dublin side held their remarkable reputation as the most successful provincial Irish rugby sides following their victory on Saturday, and have once again...

Social Connect


Trending Now

When Did Formula One Begin?

If you ask virtually anyone the world over a simple question – “What is Formula One” they will probably get the answer correct.  It’s...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x