Toronto Maple Leafs PP Not a Problem, and Way Better Than Jets

Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

Given that the Jets are the closest team in the standings to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and given that they have had successful results against the Leafs this year, it might be tempting to think the Jets are on the Leafs level – they aren’t.

The Leafs, despite who actually won or lost the games, have outplayed the Jets in all but one game this season.  The Jets goalie, the Leafs power-play, and just all round bad luck (for the Leafs) have factored into the results more than the Leafs actual play.

Thursday night was another, and perhaps the best, example yet of this.

Toronto Maple Leafs Are Kind of Great

I don’t think anyone really cares about a regular season loss as the playoffs are on the horizon and the Leafs are definitely going to be a part of them, but some analysis of last night’s game can be instructive into how good of a team the Leafs actually are.

Missing Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Freddie Andersen, the Leafs still had a 55% expected goals percentage, meaning they were (by far) the best team of the night.  The Leafs had the puck the entire night, and if not for Jack Campbell’s worst game of the season would have easily won. (all stats

And that is despite not scoring on their power plays, yet again.  The Leafs power-play is costing them games, but really, it’s only preventing them from having a perfect record.  The most impressive thing about them is how they are winning most of their games (recently they got 21 of 24 points) even though they are doing so without a power-play.

(Let alone playing with an injured Matthews, and no Nylander for the last five games).  The Leafs should really hope for a playoff series against Winnipeg because the Jets are no match for them. In every game this year, save one, the Leafs have dusted them, if not in the scoreboard, then just in terms of overall play.

It’s crazy to think that despite being just marginally out of first place in the entire NHL, the Leafs are actually under achieving.  What could this team do with a functioning power-play and some stability in net?  Win a Stanley Cup, is the obvious answer.

Now as for that power-play? It is not a problem.  It isn’t working and that’s a total fluke, but even if the team ignored this slump and made no changes, it would eventually go back to being efficient at 25 to 30%.

Next. 5 Deadline Trades That Impact the Leafs Chances at a Cup. dark

Like I have said before, and I will probably say again, if your biggest strength is the reason you lose, you’ve got nothing to worry about.  Yeah , you lost,  but since it isn’t indicative (in any way) of future performance, it isn’t a problem.