Toronto Maple Leafs Only Stanley Cup Hope is to Replicate 2009-10 Blackhawks

Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks
Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

If you look at this current Toronto Maple Leafs roster, you can find some similarities in the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks.

The duo of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are the Toronto Maple Leafs version of Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, while Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa resemble John Tavares and William Nylander.

Sure, there are some differences, as nobody can compare to Matthews’ scoring ability, but all four are the core to their team, from an offensive perspective.

Chicago finished the season third in goals for, which is currently where the Leafs lie. However, their one issue was in save percentage, where they finished 23rd in the league. Toronto’s currently 22nd in that category, so they have an easy time scoring, but a hard time stopping pucks. The one positive with the Blackhawks that campaign was that they were only fifth in the league in goals against, so they at least had a great ability limiting shot attempts. (stats

Toronto Maple Leafs Can Hopefully Replicate Blackhawks 09-10 Season

It makes sense that the Blackhawks defense helped limit opportunities, as they had Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Dustin Byfuglien and Niklas Hjalmarsson all on the blue-line. Those are four of the hardest players to play against, so if they paired that with an All-Star goalie, they may never have lost a game. Instead, they relied on Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi for the season, but they were still able to win a Stanley Cup.

Toronto’s offense lines up well with Chicago’s, but the reason this organization was a dynasty was because of that blue-line. They were able to have an average goaltender on the roster and still win championships, because they focused on elite defense to balance out their high-end offensive talent. Unfortunately, that’s where the Leafs have missed the mark and it’s probably going to cost them this season.

They are obviously on a similar path when it comes to goals for and save percentage, but their defense is really going to have to step up if they have any chance, and that seems tough now that the NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone.

While the Blackhawks had Seabrook and Keith, the Leafs have Morgan Reilly and TJ Brodie. That’s a huge downgrade and I can’t believe that this organization has yet to realize this issue. I know it’s a lot easier than said to go out and get a top-pairing defenseman, but it’s not impossible. NHL GM’s love acquiring draft picks, prospects and high-quality talent such as Mitch Marner, John Tavares or William Nylander, so it’s quite possible they could have gotten something done.


As much as I’d love to see the Leafs replicate the Blackhawks of 2009-10, it’s going to take a miracle for that to happen at this rate.