The Future Is Bright for the Toronto Maple Leafs No Matter What Happens Tonight

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs - for all the missed lay ups, the missed calls, the unforced errors and just plan bad luck of the Auston Matthews Era - are finally in a position to become the dominant force in the NHL we expected them to become years ago.

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted their core and augmented it with a variety of great players over the years - from John Tavares signing on to the core as a UFA, to bringing in guys like Bunting or Domi - but what they never did was draft and develop enough home-grown talent to help them out.

As I've said many times over the last few years, every team that put together a sustained run of excellence in the Cap Era has won by drafting helpful players (usually superstars) outside of the first round.

The Leafs - until now - haven't done that.

The Future Is Bright for the Toronto Maple Leafs No Matter Tonight's Results

Win or lose, tonight's game is going to be awesome. The Leafs GM didn't bother to upgrade the roster at the trade deadline, so you can't really ask for much more than for them to get themselves into a coin-flip proposition against a tough first round opponent.

Now that we've dispensed with the angst a five-game series would have caused, I think we can appreciate how great this team is.

They still have four x superstars and Morgan Rielly as their core.

But now they might just have a legitimate #1 goalie that they have developed.

Now they have 4 x effective home-grown forwards that are a) cheap and b) only going to get better in Matthews Knies, Nick Robertson, Pontus Holmberg and Bobby McMann.

Knies we know for sure is going to be a star. Robertson still might be. Who knows how good Holmberg and McMan can be, but they're very useful players.

Finally having a core to augment the core is exactly what this team has always needed. If Woll or Knies become a superstar, then a dynasty we might have. Who knows? I'm probably just overly optimistic right now.

Bottom line though - If you can add power-play scoring and Auston Matthews to what we've seen over the last two games, then I believe this team can do anything.


Hopefully Auston Matthews returns tonight to lead the Leafs to glory, but even if he doesn't, even if they don't win, I'm going to be very satistfied and excited about the future.