Comparing The Toronto Maple Leafs to the Conference Finalists

Comparing The Toronto Maple Leafs To The Eastern & Western Conference Finalists
Comparing The Toronto Maple Leafs To The Eastern & Western Conference Finalists / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The NHL playoffs continue without the Toronto Maple Leafs; as we speak the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Finals are underway.

The Florida Panthers and New York Rangers face off in the East, while the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars battle out West.

These results shouldn't be surprising, given that all these teams were considered Stanley Cup contenders for most of the season.

However, it's worth noting that while the Maple Leafs front office, coaches, players, and fans had Stanley Cup aspirations, this team was only being taken seriously in Toronto. The odds, which reflect the lack of respect for the Maple Leafs as a cup contender, are telling.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Conference Finalists

On May 3rd, the day before game seven against the Boston Bruins, oddsmakers gave the Leafs a mere 3.7% chance of winning the cup, compared to the Bruins' 6.25% chance, despite being in the same situation, one game from elimination.

It's important to highlight that the Maple Leafs showcased their potential throughout the regular season despite their flaws. They notably outperformed the four teams that eventually reached the conference finals. The Leafs boasted a commendable record of 7-5 against these formidable opponents, outscoring them 41-36 in the 12 games they played.

This record against the conference finalists doesn't mean the Maple Leafs would have won the Stanley Cup if they had beaten the Boston Bruins, but it does show that the gap between the Leafs and the best teams in the NHL is much smaller than the odds suggested.

But obviously, there is a gap there, or the Leafs would still be playing, so let's talk about what these differences are and what has propelled these four teams into the conference finals. All Stats via NaturalStatTrick.