The Toronto Maple Leafs are 12-3-2 since they last lost two regulation games in a row.
In addition, the Toronto Maple Leafs are currently on a 7-0-1 run, and Auston Matthews has 51 goals in his last 50 games, becoming the first person to do so since the beginning of the Dead Puck Era in the mid-90s.
While the Leafs currently sit fourth overall, they are eight points back of the Florida Panthers for first place in the Atlantic, with just ten games to go.
The Leafs have a modest lead on Tampa and Boston for home-ice advantage in the first round, but at this point, it is looking very likely that the playoffs will feature Toronto vs one of those teams.
These seem like tough matchups, but the Leafs are outperforming their goaltending by such an incredible margin for the course of the season, that any time they get even average goaltending they are by far the best team in hockey.
If Jack Campbell struggles in the playoffs, the Leafs would be even-money against anyone. If Campbell plays well, they will likely win the Stanley Cup – no one in hockey is within five miles of their skaters.
Toronto Maple Leafs Upcoming Week
This week the Leafs will play twice at home, Tuesday and Thursday, against Buffalo and Washington, then they’ll hop on a bus for a couple hours and go to Ottawa Saturday night, then return home and play the Islanders on Sunday. (naturalstattrick.com).
Now up to 58 goals on the season, Matthews has a reasonable shot at 70, and currently has an eight goal lead on Leon Draisaitl for the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer.
Matthews is only nine points off the scoring title, and has played five less games. He is four points off the 5v5 scoring lead, again with five games less than the leader.
I think that if Matthews had not had to start the year rehabing his wrist, and if he hadn’t missed five games, he would most likely be wining the scoring title, and might even flirt with 80 goals. As it stands, he’d need a near miracle to surpass the field and win the Art Ross, but if the Leafs throttled the Sabres and he had six points or something tomorrow, it might be doable.
In his last 50 games, Matthews is just two points behind Huberdeau for the most points in the NHL, and Huberdeau has played four more games.
Nine players in the NHL who have played 1000 minutes have more than 4 points per 60 minutes of all-types ice-time, and two of them are on the Leafs. Matthews and Marner likely only need to keep up their current paces for another few games before they are 1 and 2 on this list, but currently sit 3rd and 5th respectively.
All in all, it’s been an incredible season and it wouldn’t be unreasonable for both of them to finish top 3 in MVP voting.