Why the Toronto Maple Leafs Will Win the Cup this Year

May 12, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner (16) speaks to forward Auston Matthews (34) before a faceoff against the Florida Panthers in the third period in game five of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner (16) speaks to forward Auston Matthews (34) before a faceoff against the Florida Panthers in the third period in game five of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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TORONTO, ON – APRIL 17: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins battles against Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 17: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins battles against Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

A Weaker Atlantic Division

Both of the top two other teams in the Leafs division took massive hits this past offseason.

The Bruins lost multiple impact players to free agency in defenseman Dmitry Orlov and Connor Clifton plus forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, who joined the Leafs, and Garnet Hathaway.

Also, their best two-way player and future Hall of Famer Patrice Bergeron retired along with fellow veteran David Krejci, who were both efficient centers.

The organization also traded away Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno. The Bruins did sign defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has not aged gracefully, and added Morgan Geekie, James van Riemsdyk and Milan Lucic up front, but none of those signings nearly makes up for what they lost.

The Tampa Bay Lightning should still be a very good team, but they will have to be without their star goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is injured and out for at least the first two months of the season.

The entire fourth-line for the Lightning in Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry, is gone. It was an extremely effective trio for the Lightning during the playoffs and wore down defenseman, while also chipping in with timely goals.

With both Boston and Tampa weakened, look for the Leafs to win the Atlantic Division, which will position them into a favorable first-round playoff match-up.