The Toronto Maple Leafs Horrible Home Record Is Inexcusable

Visiting teams leaving Scotiabank Arena with points has been a season-long problem.

Dec 19, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe reacts against the New York Rangers.
Dec 19, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe reacts against the New York Rangers. / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Maple Leafs began the unofficial second half of the NHL season with a home date against the New York Islanders. The result was a 3-2 loss in regulation time.

The next game was also a home contest against the Dallas Stars. This time, the Leafs stars led them to a 5-4 victory.

Two games and two points earned in the standings is a fitting microcosm of the Toronto Maple Leafs play at Scotiabank Arena this season.

A look at the standings shows that two current playoff teams have a worse home record than the Leafs .542 points percentage. Only the Philadelphia Flyers (.500) and Los Angeles Kings (.478) are worse at home.

The remaining thirteen playoff teams have significantly better home records than the Leafs. The grim play in their home arena must change if the Leafs hope to climb the standings during the second half.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Home Record Is Inexcusable

The game against the Stars was the second of back-to-back games on the road for Dallas. The Leafs couldn't take advantage of a tired team. Instead, the shot attempts in the first period were 29-11 for the Stars.

It marked the latest example of the Leafs malaise at the start of a game on their home ice. Despite scoring the first goal, they trailed 2-1 after the first period.

Thanks to the play of William Nylander, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and their power play, the Leafs were able to recover and win the game.

For too much of the season, though, that has not been the case. Yes, not all games will look pretty, but the Leafs have had more home duds than most playoff contenders.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Have Had Too Many Inexplicable Home Losses

While a loss to the Islanders, who are just outside the playoff picture, is not egregious, it was another home loss to a team below the Leafs in the standings.

The Leafs home season started with a less-than-convincing 6-5 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens.

The team's third home game of the season was a 4-1 loss to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks. Other home-ice flops occurred against the Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ottawa Senators (twice).

That's a lot of lost points to lesser competition.

The Leafs have had dominant performances at home, but they have been infrequent. Impressive victories over the Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks have countered the flat home-ice showings.

The first period against the Stars, the 5-0 deficit against the Blue Jackets, and the emotionless result against the Blackhawks are the types of home-ice starts that need to be addressed by Sheldon Keefe, his staff, and the players.

The Leafs had a six-game win streak along with points in ten consecutive games before their regulation loss to the New York Rangers on Dec. 19th.

Three upcoming home games against the St. Louis Blues (played last night, but after this was written), Flyers, and Anaheim Ducks offer a chance to regain home-ice momentum.

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Without improvement in their play at Scotiabank Arena, making the playoffs is no guarantee. Should they make it, the Leafs stay might be shortlived.