2 Positives In a Sea of Toronto Maple Leafs Related Negativity

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs let history repeat itself, losing in game 7 to the Boston Bruins for the fourth time in the past 12 seasons.

The Toronto Maple Leafs looked like a shell of themselves for the first four games of the series, as they were on the brink of elimination in game five after going down 3-1.

But with the heroics of Jospesh Woll, Matthew Knies and William Nylander in games five and six, they were able to battle back and force a game seven in Boston.

Despite the return of Auston Matthews to the lineup for the winner takes all match and taking a 1-0 lead with just 10 minutes left to play in the 3rd period, the Leafs lost in heartbreaking fashion.

A goal by Bruins star David Pastrnak less than two minutes into the overtime frame sent the home in the first round four the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

But despite the game 7 loss their are still some positives to takeaway from the season.

2 Positives In a Sea of Toronto Maple Leafs Related Negativity

Bobby McMann had a great rookie season with the Leafs. He proved himself at every opportunity and quickly gained the trust of the coaching staff.

He finished the regular season with 15 goals and 9 assists in 56 games.

McMann played an essential role for the team before he was injured, as he was on the 2nd line alongside John Tavares and Mitch Marner. His shoot-first mentality and puck retrieval skills complimented Marner's passing ability well, and it was a line many hoped could do some damage in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, McMann was injured late in the regular season and was held out of all seven playoff games with a lower-body injury.

McMann's consistent play throughout the season earned him a 2-year extension worth $1.35 million per year. It was a very team-friendly number for a player who was playing at a 20-goal and 40-point pace and averaging 11:33 minutes a game.

McMann will be an effective middle six winger for the Maple Leafs next season.

The other rookie forward on the team, Matthew Knies, may have underachieved, given expectation built up in last years playoffs, but he still had a rather productive season.

Knies scored 15 goals and added 20 assists in 80 games this season. He averaged just over 13 minutes of ice time as he did not play many special teams minutes.

He was, however, a part of one of the most productive offensive lines at 5 on 5 this season. Out of all 5 on 5 lines that played more then 300 minutes together this season, Knies-Matthews-Marner ranked 7th in xGoals % and 14th in xGoals against.

He also managed to take his game to another level in the playoffs. He became a big game player later in the series, scoring the overtime winner in game 5 and adding an assist in game 6.

Knies was also standing up for his teammates and played a physical game. He was making impactful plays every time he was on the ice and dragged his teammates into the fight with him.

Knies is eligible for an extension on July 1st; locking him into a long-term extension should be one of the team's top priorities this offseason. (stats nhl.com).


Both McMann and Knies will be great supporting pieces to a Maple Leafs roster that will likely have some turnover in the upcoming off-season.