2. Goaltending Doesn’t Run out of Gas
This is pretty basic but it needs to be said. Jack Campbell is playing amazing this year, but he’s also playing a ton of games. He’s on-pace for the most games played in his career, so let’s hope he doesn’t run out of gas before the playoffs start.
I’m sure we can all remember the days of Freddie Andersen and his great stats with the Leafs. However, fatigue was a huge issue with him and those extra starts in the regular season hurt him when the games mattered the most.
Toronto obviously wants home-ice advantage, but they shouldn’t do it by playing Campbell 65 games this year.
If Toronto wants to win in the playoffs, they need him fresh. If they can limit his starts and/or give him more off-days throughout the regular season, that will be great for him and the entire team.
The Leafs will get nowhere, unless Campbell is on top of his game.
However, the inverse is also true: If Campbell plays up to the level that he has (more or less) consistently maintained for the last season and a half, then the Leafs will be nearly unstoppable.