Analyzing the Toronto Maple Leafs Crucial Road Trip Ahead

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 12: William Nylander
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 12: William Nylander /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 29: Nikita Zaitsev #22 of the Toronto Maple Leafs battles with Sean Monahan #23 of the Calgary Flames during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 29, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames are in a similar position to the Toronto Maple Leafs right now; not performing to expectations, and not having the production they need from their top players.

Coming off of career high seasons with Johnny Gaudreau’s 99 points and Sean Monahan’s 82, both of the Flames stars are on pace for their worst seasons of their established careers. Gaudreau has just 6 goals and 16 assists, while Monahan has seven goals and 16 assists through their first 30 games.

The Flames currently sit sixth in the highly competitive Pacific division, and are currently on a three-game winning streak and seem to be putting it together as of late. Interim coach Geoff Ward demoted Gaudreau to the third line, which may have lit a spark in the Flames lineup.

The Leafs may have caught the Flames at a bad time, as they seem to be finding ways to win despite the lack of production from their top performers. I can easily see the Flames going on a run in the coming weeks and putting themselves back in the playoff conversation.

What the Leafs will need to do to beat the Flames is put together a strong performance on the power play. The Flames have the third-best penalty kill in the league with a hefty 85.6% success rate, but if the Leafs can start to put it together with the man advantage, that may be the difference maker against this Flames team.