Toronto Maple Leafs: Let the Goals Rain Down Upon Me

Jan 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) skates with the puck against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) skates with the puck against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing some great hockey.

Short training camp? No problem. Complete lack of exhibition games? No worries. The Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a 3-1 start that is made even better by the fact that they have gotten (mostly) bad goaltending and a low shooting percentage.

As I pointed out the other day, the Leafs shooting percentage dating back to the playoffs vs Columbus is laughably low.  In the NHL, players have almost no control over their shooting percentage, which makes this a good stat for looking at luck.

No doubt that the Leafs were unlucky vs the Jackets in the summer – they played well enough to deserve the win, and most of the time (like probably close to 80%  of the time) if they play like that, they win the series.

The start of this season has been a bit of a reversal – the Leafs still aren’t getting the goals at a normal frequency (i.e at 5v5 they have a negative goal differential, despite being one of the best teams in the NHL statistically) but the wins have been there.  (stats from naturalstattrick.com).

Toronto Maple Leafs Are Going to Explode (Offensively)

As I noted the other day, Auston Matthews has put up MVP numbers over his last nine games (including the playoffs) but has just a single 5v5 goal.  He normally shoots at over 15% and for this period is under 3%.

What does that mean?

Goal explosion.

Matthews has been – by far – the Leafs best players since the season started and he hasn’t even really contributed (*resultswise) at 5v5.  That is obviously not going to last because everything that rises must converge. 

A good remedy for this is the Edmonton Oilers.  The Oilers do not have defense, the Oilers do not have goalies.  Look for a high scoring game that features multiple goals from Auston Matthews.

In fact, I’ll go so far as to predict that Matthews – who scored four goals in his NHL debut – pots a hat trick tonight as everything is coming together Perfect Storm Style.

  1. He’s due
  2. He’s playing great
  3. They are playing the Oilers

But it isn’t just Matthews, the entire team is due for some puck luck, and I predict that tonight we’ll finally get to see that.  The Leafs should have won their last two games by about seven goals each, so unfortunately for the Oilers they’ve got to not only play the by-far best Canadian team, they’ve got to do so while they are playing well and overdue for some goals.

Next. The Big Joe Thornton Renaissance Tour. dark

Come 7PM let the goals rain down upon me.