The Toronto Maple Leafs start their play-in series this weekend, along with 15 other teams.
ON Sunday, we will finally get to see the Toronto Maple Leafs in action, as they will begin their series vs the Columbus Blue Jackets.
How does their roster compare to the other teams involved? The qualifier format is exciting but the season will be over very quickly for the losing teams.
Today we will take a look at the #11 and 12 seeds for the NHL Qualifiers to see where the Toronto Maple Leafs stand. Statistics are courtesy of Hockey Reference.
A Look at the Competition
(12) Montreal Canadiens
The Habs come into the qualifiers with the lowest points percentage, gathering 71 points in 71 games during the regular season. This seems like a reasonable cutoff for teams to make the play-in round.
Montreal had a league-average 208 goals scored and a below-average 220 goals against. Their power play and penalty kill were both below the league average. They are a good puck control team and shoot the puck a lot.
The scariest member of their team is goaltender Carey Price. Despite a pedestrian regular season in which Price recorded a .909 SV% and 2.79 GAA, he can get hot and steal a series.
The Habs don’t have anyone at forward who scares you too much. Tomas Tatar led the team with 61 points, which tells you everything you need to know.
On defence, Shea Weber leads a solid Top Four, including Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry and Victor Mete. Their third pairing of Xavier Ouellet and Christian Folin leaves a lot to be desired.
I don’t really like Montreal’s chances of getting by Pittsburgh in the Qualifier, let alone making a run deep into the playoffs. Price would have to channel 2014-15 and be superhuman.