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Toronto Maple Leafs season update: Maple Leafs on the up

The Maple Leafs have turned it on since they only had five regulation wins through mid-November.

Since November 19, the Maple Leafs are 8-3-4. The 20 points accumulated over that stretch has catapulted the Maple Leafs up in the division and Eastern Conference standings.

It is no secret by now that the Eastern Conference is stacked. There is tons of star power, parity, and depth that make it tough to compete and entertaining for fans.

Despite stiff competition, the Maple Leafs find themselves directly in the thick of things for yet another regular season. However, due to the aforementioned stiff competition, there is very little margin for error.

Fortunately for the Maple Leafs and their fans, they are buzzing right now and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

This is a good team in good form as they approach the halfway point of the season. They have been through enough hardship and have enough competition that they will keep the foot on the gas as the season progresses.

Look for the Maple Leafs to continue to play well after this three-day holiday break. While we have a lull in the schedule, let’s take a look at how we got here.

Record:17-8-6 (40 points)
Point Percentage:.645
Standings:2nd in the Atlantic Division and 4th in the Eastern Conference

Key wins:

  • 12//923: 4-0 vs Nashville Predators 
  • 12/12/23: 7-3 vs New York Rangers 
  • 12/16/23: 7-0 vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Key losses:

  • 12/14/23: 6-5 (OT) vs Columbus Blue Jackets 
  • 12/19/23: 5-2 vs New York Rangers 
  • 12/21/23: 9-3 vs Buffalo Sabres

Key Statistical Leaders

Goals

  • Auston Matthews: 28 
  • William Nylander: 16 
  • Mitchell Marner: 13

Assists

  • Mitchell Marner: 29 
  • William Nylander: 23 
  • John Tavares: 20

Points

  • William Nylander: 45 
  • Auston Matthews: 41 
  • Mitchell Marner: 36

Plus-Minus

  • Calle Jarnkrok: +11 
  • William Nylander: +7 
  • Three tied: +6

Power Play Goals

  • Auston Matthews: 8 
  • William Nylander: 5 
  • Mitchell Marner: 3

Time On Ice

  • Morgan Reilly: 24:32 
  • TJ Brodie: 22:10 
  • Auston Matthews: 21:16

NHL Rankings by Key Statistic (out of 32)

Goals scored per game:3
Goals allowed per game:23
Goals scored 5 on 5:7
Goals allowed 5 on 5:20
Power Play Percentage:4
Penalty Kill Percentage:20
Faceoff Percentage:6
Shots on goal per game:7
Shots allowed per game:27

Top Performers:

There are no surprises here. As they have been for years now, the Maple Leafs are a regular season juggernaut led by the usual superstars. William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and Mitchell Marner have been stellar once again.

They have a combined 114 points thus far this season. These guys, along with John Tavares and a deeper supporting cast, can hang with any top talent in the league as they have proven once again. In fact, they may just be the bar.

Could the story be a bit different come playoff time? Sure, it could. We have seen the script flipped before come spring for this Maple Leafs core, especially given their relative defensive frailties.

The Maple Leafs do not exactly excel in the goal prevention department, but they play well enough as a unit and score more than enough to hang with any team in hockey.

Morgan Reilly is one of the most important players on this team because he is a mobile, puck moving defenseman that can contribute offensively, but also match up against opponents’ top lines and hold them scoreless. Morgan Reilly has shown his value in a big way again this season.

Odds

To win Eastern Conference:+600
To win Stanley Cup:+1200

The Verdict

This is yet another dominant regular season for the Maple Leafs. As long as they remain healthy, they will be all but a formality for the playoffs come spring yet again. What they do from there is the bigger question.

But until they prove otherwise, this is a good team with multiple individual award contenders that dominates the regular season. They have not given us any reason to believe otherwise.

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