Toronto Maple Leafs Season Preview: Overall Outlook
As constituted it is hard to envision the Toronto Maple Leafs winning a championship with their current group of defensemen.
A trade deadline deal of draft picks plus a prospect or two (Nick Robertson now seems the most likely candidate) is the likely solution to upgrading the defense.
It will be up to Treliving to supplement the roster as the end of the season nears.
In the meantime, expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be an offensive juggernaut. They are a likely candidate to lead the NHL in goals scored, likely challenged by the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche.
If their defense can be ranked among the top half of the league, it should be good enough for them to win their division.
There is also a very realistic chance that the Leafs have seven twenty-goal scorers, quite an achievement in today’s NHL. Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Tavares, Bertuzzi, Knies, and Domi should reach that mark.
In the end, I see the Leafs winning the Atlantic. Their past playoff experiences, improving playoff pedigree, and home-ice advantage for a minimum of two rounds will take them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Unless their defense gets improved, it’s as far as they will get.