The Toronto Maple Leafs 2018-19 season is in the books.
Overall, it was a good first season of the post rebuild phase. Even though Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, I think that overall, the team is on the right track.
The Leafs have some of the best young players in the NHL, and they’ve got a solid mix of in-their-prime veterans and up-and-coming prospects that should keep them at or near the top of the NHL standings for years to come.
This year the expectations were raised extremely high with the signing of John Tavares, and the team did fail to deliver on them by going out so early in the playoffs. However, if we look beyond the results, if we look at the details – an unfair matchup for the seventh place team, a third pairing with two injured players struggling to keep up, the Kadri injury, Hyman playing three games on a torn MCL etc. – then I don’t think we should be too hard on the Leafs for losing.
The Toronto Maple Leafs did lose, but they could have easily won. A couple cheesy goals against Andersen, a ridiculous Bruins power-play, and the solid goaltending might have cost the Leafs the series, but those seven games did show that even shorthanded than can outplay the Bruins.
With possible exceptions of Colorado and Buffalo, you’d be hard pressed to find a better, younger, more high-potential roster than the Leafs currently have.
The future is bright, but let us look to the past one last time and hand out some player grades for the 2018-19 season.