Toronto Maple Leafs: How Did I Do On Last Year’s Predictions?

Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Maple Leafs are less than two weeks from starting training camp.

Training camp this year will feature more job battles than the Toronto Maple Leafs have seen in years, so it’s bound to be interesting.

However, in the meantime, there is very little Leafs news.

We learned that Ilya Mikheyev has requested a trade and that the Leafs won’t allow the unvaccinated into their building this year.  We learned that the team will be 100% vaccinated, and that they maybe kicked the tires on P.K Subban.

But since there isn’t too much else going on, it would be fun to check in on the predictions I made prior to last season.

Toronto Maple Leafs 2021 Predictions and how they Turned Out

In November, three months before the season started, I tried out several predictions, and most of them were brutal. 

The Islanders were not the NHL’s worst team. They finished 12th overall.  Nick Robertson did not win the Calder, he was injured and didn’t get a chance.

Matthews didn’t win the Hart, but he was the NHL’s WAR leader and an argument that he should have been the MVP would be valid.  But he was second to the unanimous choice of McDavid who scored over 100 points in the shortened season.   Matthews may have technically been more valuable, but no one saw it that way.

Justin Holl had a good year, but he definitely fell off from his previous trajectory.  I was wrong to compare him to Jose Bautista, but give me a break – we have the same barber.

Sandin and Lehtonen were not factors, wrong again Tanner.

Boston didn’t fall off, and Montreal went to the finals.  Overall, I’d have to rate these predictions a zero out of 100 and admit that I am not very good at guessing the future.   At least I put myself out there though, right Mom?

Second Predictions Article

Closer to the start of the season, with a little more information under my belt, I took another stab at making some more predictions.  Warning: this is going to get ugly. Turn away now if you still want to respect my prognostication skills.

First, I called the Leafs to go 9-1 against Montreal.  They went 7-2-1, but since some pundits were calling the Habs to win the division, I’m taking credit for a correct prediction on this one.

Sadly, I used this prediction to mock the Habs for signing the washed up Corey Perry, who  I said the Leafs wouldn’t have dressed if they had six lines to ice.  I was right – the Leafs had no interest in Perry.  But Karma came back and kicked John Tavares in the head.  Wrong J.T. but we all lost when it happened.  My bad.

My next prediction was that Matthews would lead the league in 5v5 goals, PP goals and total goals.  I got two of three, as Matthews only managed ten PP goals.  15 led the league, and Matthews, despite nearly scoring 41 goals in 52 games, definitely has room for improvement on the power-play.

Matthews led the NHL in 5v5 goals by nine, and by ten over everyone who isn’t named Connor McDavid (who himself played four more games than Matthews).  To me, this is absolutely crazy.  Ten more 5v5 goals than anyone else is crazy, and I think it’s the reason that Matthews deserved the Hart Trophy last year.   For the record, With Matthews on the ice, the Leafs outscored their opponents by 25 goals last year.   McDavid and the Oilers won by 16. (stats

After the Matthews prediction, I talked about Nylander and predicted we’d go at least one week without a trade rumour about him. This wasn’t meant to be literal, but I do think we saw Nylander start to receive more respect overall, as the Nylander haters are now more or less universally considered to be ridiculous.

My team predictions were perhaps the worst. I guessed that the Leafs would win their division, which was right.  I also called the President’s Trophy (close, but no) and a loss in the Stanley Cup Finals against Buffalo.   I suppose there is a reason you’d win so much money if you laid a reasonably sized bet and correctly guessed which two teams would play for the Cup, but Buffalo is a legendarily bad prediction.  “I thought the Generals were due!”

Next. Kicking That Hype Machine into Overdrive. dark

I did correctly predict the Flyers would miss the playoffs at least, so there’s that.   That’s like two for 30! Which sounds bad, but I think I doubled my accuracy over the previous season.  Stay tuned for some upcoming predictions sure to help you get yer legs broke.  Just kidding, do not follow my advice on anything other than bee safety.   Thanks and have a nice day.