The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to play against only Canadian teams in the upcoming NHL season.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on many things across the world, the National Hockey League hand many things to sort out in order to get a 2021 season underway. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, this means an extremely different looking hockey season.
Among many things needed to be sorted out was how many games were to be played and how teams would get to each city to play these games. The NHL decided that each team would play 56 games and that the divisions would be realigned based on geographic location with the exception of the Canadian teams as they would be in one division due to the Canada-USA border shutdown.
With the season getting the green light to go ahead a few days ago, each team got their 56 game schedule released. One thing that’s different this year is that most of the time, teams will play a series of at least two games to reduce travel, similar to how a Major League Baseball schedule operates.
Toronto Maple Leafs schedule
As most teams do, they open the season on January 13th. The Leafs will play against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. As they play in the biggest hockey market and are the most popular team on the planet for their sport, the Toronto Maple Leafs always play on opening night against either the Habs or the Ottawa Senators, which they opened the season against last year.
They will then stay within the province of Ontario as they head to Ottawa to take on the Senators for a two game series. Then they are back in town to play a game against the Winnipeg Jets which is followed by the Edmonton Oilers coming to Toronto for a two game set.
They then head to Alberta to face both the Calgary Flames and the Oilers which they play them two games each to end of the month of January.
February will start off with the Vancouver Canucks coming to Toronto for a three game series from the 4th-8th. Two days later, they are set to be in Montreal for a game but then they go back to Toronto to play the Habs at home.
From February 15th-18th, they will have the battle of Ontario part two which is then followed by a road trip to Montreal to play them on the 20th. From February 27th-March 6th, they will be on the west coast of Canada playing three games against the Oilers and two going up on the Canucks.
In the month of March, the Leafs will be travelling to Ottawa on two separate occasions which occur on the 14th and 25th. Their longest road trip takes place from March 17th-28th. They will be playing two games in Vancouver, followed by three in Winnipeg in which they end off playing a single game against Montreal at the Bell Centre.
They finish the season with a two game series against the Canadiens April 7th and 8th.
The Senators are no longer the laughing stock they are as they made vast improvements to their team. The Oilers have a lethal combo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Canucks are a team on the rise with young guns in the likes of Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser.
The Flames have a good top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm with Mike Giordano patrolling the blue line. Remember, they also have Matthew Tkachuk on their team. The Jets and Canadiens may not be the flashiest teams but they are both solid teams nonetheless.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are still the best team in the Canadian division and are the favorites favorites to advance to the final four, but they shouldn’t take any team they face for granted.