Toronto Maple Leafs are NHL’s Top Team in Playoff Practice

The Toronto Maple Leafs are standing alone on top of the NHL standings with 35 points and a 17-6-1 record, but it does not matter.

November 2021 was the winningest month in Toronto Maple Leafs history as they went 12-2-0, but it does not matter.

Their top goaltender, Jack Campbell, is leading all NHL goaltenders in wins, save percentage and goals against average, and was named the NHL’s second star for November, but that does not matter.

All that matters in the eyes of Toronto Maple Leafs fans is, at very least, a first round playoff series victory.  This franchise has broken too many hearts for decades.  Will we ever learn to love again?

We know the numbers… 16 seasons have passed without a series victory.  The only team with a longer drought is the Florida Panthers (24 seasons).

Let’s not even get into the last time the Leafs won the Cup.  We know it’s the longest drought in NHL history, but they really need to focus on one series at a time.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs, the regular season is merely “playoff practice.”

These Toronto Maple Leafs Stats also Do Not Matter:

(Stats from SportsNet.com)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are second in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.17) and fourth in goal differential (+22).

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the NHL’s seventh best penalty kill percentage (85.9%) and the eighth best powerplay percentage (23.4%).

Despite missing all of training camp and the beginning of the regular season due to wrist surgery, Auston Matthews is now eighth in NHL goal scoring with 13 goals in 21 games.

Mathews is currently riding a four game goal streak with six goals in that time including a hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche.  He’s on pace for a 49 goal season, but now that his wrist seems healed, he should be able to push beyond that.

John Tavares is currently sixth in the NHL point race with 25 points in 23 games.  He’s also ranked 12th in NHL goal scoring this season with 11 goals.  If he can continue this pace, this will be one of the best seasons of his career.

William Nylander is right behind Tavares with 10 goals and 23 points on the season.  Nylander has never had a point per game season so far in his career, but he’s flirting with the idea this season.

Nylander has also scored the third most game winning goals in the NHL this season which shows he can be depended on when it counts.  Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are also tied for sixth in NHL game winning goals, so hopefully their “Killer Instinct” will carry over into the playoffs.

I know they’re only a little passed the quarter mark of the season, and we can’t get too excited about how well the Leafs are doing, but at least they’re playing amazingly in this “playoff practice” of a regular season.