Many Reasons to Love This Edition of the Toronto Maple Leafs Despite Their Flaws

Despite their inconsistencies and, at times, infuriating play, the Leafs have had many feel-good stories throughout the year that make them a likable team to cheer for. Examples of resilience and grit can be found everywhere, which hasn't always been the case with this team.

St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs Flaws Can Be Conquered

A year ago, the Florida Panthers demonstrated what can happen when a team finds its groove at the right time. They rode that momentum to within a whisker of a championship.

Now, they are the pick of many prognosticators to finish the job this year.

The Leafs odds of winning the Stanley Cup have dropped. Nine teams currently have a better chance to win.

Despite all of their flaws, the Toronto Maple Leafs have demonstrated a pluckiness to their game that is admirable. After years of disappointments, they appear to be growing up. The win over the Capitals came after some direct self-criticism for Matthews, Keefe, and Nylander.

Their season-long regulation-time losing streak is only three games. They have found a way to get victories and curtail short-term problems before they become bigger issues.

The Leafs have historically performed better during the postseason with limited expectations. The 1967 champions weren't expected to win. Conference championship runs from the early 1990s and 2000s were underdog teams.

All of those teams embraced the role of the underdog. They had grit, resiliency, and pluckiness.

This version of the Toronto Maple Leafs shows the same characteristics. Plus, they have a star-studded roster.

Stars that are underdogs.

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It might finally be the recipe for success.