Toronto Maple Leafs: My Take On The Start of the Season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 28: Calvin Pickard
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 28: Calvin Pickard /

Almost a quarter way into the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in fourth place in the league. Here are my thoughts on the season, so far.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a great start to the year, even going 4-0 with Auston Matthews out of the lineup.

Auston Matthews

Never would I have imagined that a 6’3” 215lb Center with 40 goals in his rookie season and elite 200 foot game playing in the mecca of hockey, be one of the most underrated players in this league. He is barely into his second season of his NHL career and he is already the most Selke-worthy player in this league.  If gets back to being healthy quickly, it would be reasonable to see him win one (or all) of the Hart, Rocket Richard, Selke, and Lady Byng.

Mitch Marner

Statistically, Marner has had a great year despite being demoted, seemingly without reason. It’s not really his fault the team’s goalies have stopped an anomalously low amount of pucks when he’s been on the ice.  But with the shootout winner on Monday, two assists that led to the game tying and overtime winning goals on Friday, and a goal and an assist on Saturday, Marner is finally getting the results his play says he deserved all along.

Ron Hainsey

As each games passes I appreciate Ron Hainsey more and more, especially for his work in front of the net.  He delivers consistent effort each game and is able to tie up and box out most players in front of the net.   He has been a great stable presence for Rielly and the team. His play and hockey IQ go unnoticed. Hainsey > Hunwick.

More from Editor In Leaf

The Next Expansion

Is it just me, or should we not be terrified of when the next expansion happens. (Especially if it is to a team in Quebec!). The Maple Leafs got off easy this time around, but the Leafs will lose a great player in the next expansion. Their depth is just getting too deep.

If the Marlies don’t even need Carl Grundstrom to be a great AHL team – if Soshnikov, Rychel, Johnsson, and Bracco are having trouble getting big minutes – if Bozak and Marner can be on the fourth line and nobody really cares – the Maple leafs are deep…at forward.

Joe Bowen

I will not stop blogging about the shamefulness that is Joe Bowen still not being on television.  There is no more fun of a broadcaster to listen to than “Bonsie”. He is the voice of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, and he needs his spot back.


The longer Lou waits to trade JVR, the less likely and harder it gets.  I’m not sure Lou can trade JVR at the deadline and risk not being able to replace his scoring ability.  My bet is he gets traded before the Christmas break, or re-signed for way under market value.  That would be shocking, but don’t put it past Lou and don’t put it past JVR’s desire to stay.  Lou has all the leverage.  Then again, letting him walk for nothing and essentially treating him like a rental is also an option.  The Leafs should be buyers come tradedeadline, which means there would be no point in trading a player they can’t replace if the only return is futures.

Next: Wins Are Meaningless: The Underlying Numbers Are Brutal

Whatever your opinion is on Joe Bowen, the quality of backups, or Ron Hainsey, we can all agree that the Leafs are fun again.