The Toronto Maple Leafs End of Season Team Numbers

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 23: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs heads to the locker room before facing the New York Rangers at the Scotiabank Arena on March 23, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 23: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs heads to the locker room before facing the New York Rangers at the Scotiabank Arena on March 23, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Going into the season, the expectations were high, particularly for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ offense.

Speculation of the Toronto Maple Leafs hitting the 300 goal mark emerged, and a lethal powerplay had their sights set on being among the league leaders.

While some expectations may have been unsustainable, even to the best of teams, the Leafs had their stretches and their slumps.

It all came together upon the end of the season, and though they didn’t set the golden standard, the team came up with some pretty respectable numbers.

The Record

46-28-8 may not seem like an improvement on last year’s franchise record setting 49-26-7, but in a way it was.

Looking at the stat that arguably should matter more than it does, ROW (Regulation, Overtime Wins), we see a jump from 42 up to 46.

Of course falling to 100 points from 105 may seem like a marginal decline, this may help ease the pain. So while this only affects the standings in the event of a tie-breaker, it is something to think on.

While you can choose to look at either number, but you should also consider the unquantifiable way in which these games were won and even just played.

The Basics

The high powered offense, though it did not lead the league, was still among the best in terms of productions. With 286 goals for, it was a 9 goal improvement on last year’s total and good for 4th in the league. Perhaps coming short of what many expected, but by no means was it poor, especially considering the loss of James vanReimsdyk and, for almost half of the season, William Nylander.

Now, for the moment critics have been waiting for, the goals against. You simply could not read or hear a critique of the Toronto Maple Leafs without being informed of the state of the defense. Granted Frederik Andersen was Relatively Steady Freddie this season, for the foreseeable future, this isn’t likely to go away.

So what was the damage? The Leafs allowed 249 goals. That’s 17 more than 2017-18 and put them near the likes of the Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks in 20th place.

This adds up to a goal differential of +35.

Special Teams

Few imagined the Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay to even fall as far as it did. However, when your system works so well that you’re posting near 30% efficiency, other teams tend to take the time to learn how to shut it down, and that’s exactly what happened.

Coming in at 21.8%, it was undoubtedly an above average powerplay and was good enough for 8th in the league.

On the other side, with defense being the big question coming into the season, the penalty kill was another question mark. This came with relatively good reason, as the team ended up at a 79.9% penalty kill, tied with the Bruins and Islanders, placing 17th.

The penalty kill did have its moments though, and for several months, the Leafs were a rarity in that both of their special teams were among the top 10 league wide.

Possession Metrics and the “Fancy” Stuff

As I touched on earlier, there are unquantifiable details to which a team plays, but stats like Corsi can help us further dissect those.

Clocking in at 51.5% and 9th in the league, a Corsi of over 50%, nevermind 51%, is largely considered to be a recipe for success. That is unless you’re the Carolina Hurricanes, who seem intent on ruining analytics for everyone.

For those who may not be familiar with this stat, this means that 51.5% of shot attempts were done by the Leafs.

Another stat and variable of Corsi that is important is their score adjusted Corsi. By score adjusting, shot attempts at moments deemed more important are worth more. For example, a shot while up 6-0 is not nearly as crucial as a shot when down 1-0 and so would not be worth as much. In this case, the Leafs showed that they were able to bring on some offense when they needed to with a 52.03% SA Corsi. Not bad.

In addition, for some fun, the Leafs  ESVA Corsi (Event, score and venue adjusted Corsi) came in at 53.09%.

Also, of note, the Toronto Maple Leafs were allegedly a “lucky” team, with a PDO of 101.8.

Once again, for those unfamiliar, PDO is a combination of save percentage and shooting percentage and through various patterns of regression, is often referred to in order to measure the luck of a team, as those with high shooting percentages tend not to stay that high but fall closer to league average. Likewise with save percentage.

You can choose to interpret this however you would like, after all, you have to be lucky to be good and good to be lucky, right?

Final Thoughts

Looking back, some of the expectations going into the year were a tad outlandish, but all things considered, the team performed decently in a lot of ways.

(Stats courtesy of Hockey Reference, Puck on Net and the NHL.)

Next. Best Playoff Line Combos. dark

That being said, stats don’t always tell the full story, and besides, when it comes to playoffs, we can throw all of these out the window.So what do you think, were you satisfied with the statistical performance of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and which stats surprised you?