The Toronto Maple Leafs Best and Worst Players So Far

Toronto Maple Leafs - William Nylander (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - William Nylander (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have played two games so far.

In their season debut, the Toronto Maple Leafs only beat the Canadiens by a single goal, and even though Montreal outshot them by two, the Leafs were the best team by far.  The Leafs controlled play for the entire night, and had more than double the high-danger scoring chances.  The game wasn’t nearly as close as the score and shot count made it seem.

Against Ottawa on Wednesday, the Leafs had some troubles.  Ottawa was the better team, and yet, because of the Leafs nearly bottomless offensive talent, they put 47 shots on net and were goalied by Anton Forsberg, who is normally terrible but of course had the best game of his life against the Leafs.

Overall, not to much to be concerned about over the first two games.  Despite missing their best player, the Toronto Maple Leafs could easily have started the season 2-0. (All stats

Stats and Thoughts after 2 Toronto Maple Leafs Games

The most important thing about the first two games is that Jack Campbell looks fantastic.  It would be hard for him to replicate the level of play he provided last season, but so far so good.

A lot of people are complaining about Mitch Marner’s game so far, which I think is unfair.  Then again, if there is one thing Leafs fans are amazing at , it’s complaining.  The fact is, Marner only has one assist in two games, and that is what 99% of people will base their judgements on.

However, with Marner on the ice so far, the Leafs have gotten 52% of the puck possession, 53% of the shots, 53% of the scoring chances and 65% of the dangerous scoring chances. He is second on the team with 10 shots.   One of those goes in and we aren’t having this conversation.

Additionally, no one has scored a goal on the Leafs with Marner on the ice, and the PK has been fantastic.  The need for Leafs fans to rip on the a player who is (at worst) a top ten player in the entire world is ridiculous.

The Problems

Two games and both Nick Ritchie and Wayne Simmonds have been completely invisible.  These are two players who you should notice every time they are on the ice.  If you don’t they aren’t doing their job.  So far, neither player looks like he’ll be able to stay in this lineup for long.  Very bad start for both players, especially Ritchie.

Jason Spezza has produced on the power-play, but at even strength he’s been brutal. Perhaps the line of Spezza, Simmonds and Amadio is just too slow to be effective.  Spezza has a 15% CF through two games – with him on the ice 5v5, the Toronto Maple Leafs have three shot attempts and `16 against.  They’ve been outshot 9-1 and Spezza has an expected goals rating of 4%.  Yikes!

The worst players have been Jack Muzzin and Justin Holl.   Through two games both of them are under 40% puck possession and have roughly the same expected goals rating. Other than when they are on the ice, the Leafs have pretty much dominated play.

To be fair, they’ve taken the hardest minutes and start the least in the offensive zone, but both players still need to be better for the Leafs to succeed.

To my mind, along with Spezza, Simmonds and whoever Michael Amadio is, Holl and Muzzin have been the Leafs worst players so far.

dark. Next. Ranking the Leafs Entire Prospect and Farm System

Their best players have been William Nylander and Jack Campbell and no one else is even close, but Sandin, Kampf, Engvall and Bunting have all impressed me as well.