Toronto Maple Leafs Round-One Opponent Very Close to Being Revealed

The Toronto Maple Leafs of 2021-22 almost never lose consecutive games.

They lost four in a row in October (their worst stretch of the season) but then only lost back-to-back once more before 2021 was over, and one of those losses was overtime. The Toronto Maple Leafs next lost back-to-back games in February to Vancouver and Calgary, a set of games were they had over 100 shots and somehow got goalied twice in a row.

Shortly after that, they lost three in a row (Stl, MTL, CBJ) with one of them being in overtime. They lost back-to-back twice in March, and then again this past week to TB and FLA (OT).

To sum up: The Toronto Maple Leafs lost four in a row once, three in a row once, and back-to-back five times.  However, outside of the early four game losing streak, they have lost back-to-back games in regulation just three times all season.

Which is why their come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals set a new franchise record of 52 wins and 111 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals

The game against Washington was strange because the Leafs were missing Michael Bunting (hit in the face Saturday) as well as Timothy Liljegren and John Tavares (maintenance).

Bunting might have a broken bone in his face, and who knows how long he’ll be out? That’s a major loss for the Leafs. (stats

On the bright side, Ondrej Kase and Rasmus Sandin, and maybe even Jake Muzzin are all due back soon, probably for game one of the playoffs.

The win against Washington gives the Leafs 11 points, and a five point lead on Tampa Bay for home-ice advantage in round one of the playoffs.

Tampa can finish with a maximum of 112 points, so any point gained by the Leafs, or lost by Tampa, will clinch second place for the Leafs.  The Boston Bruins can no longer catch the Toronto Maple Leafs, though there is a chance they could pass Tampa and become the Leafs round one opponent.

Assuming Tampa will have the tie-breaker, it will take any combination of three points lost by Boston or gained by Tampa for Tampa to be sure of a date with the Leafs. If Boston doesn’t catch Tampa, they get to play Carolina instead, and I think that’s a much preferable outcome for them.

It looks pretty sure at this point that the Leafs will open against the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, which is exactly what you are hoping for when you have lost in the first round five straight years!

On the bright side, if you want to be the NHL Champs, you’ve got to defeat the old Champs, so why not get it out of the way early?