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NHL - US Sports: Leafs must remain focused

Coach Sheldon Keefe says breaking a franchise record for wins in a season is a proud achievement but insists the Toronto Maple Leafs must remain focussed in the pursuit of their ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup.

The Leafs, 10/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, beat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Sunday to reach 50 wins (50-20-6) and move six points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Leafs' 106 points ranks third in the NHL behind the Florida Panthers (114) and Colorado Avalanche (116).

Keefe looking at big picture

The 41-year-old Keefe sat top-scorer Auston Matthews out of the line-up against the Islanders as a precaution. Matthews leads the NHL for a second season in a row with 58 goals and has 102 points. The Maple Leafs are 5-1-0 without him this season.

Toronto last won the Stanley Cup in 1967, when the NHL was a six-team league, the longest drought in NHL history. 

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In addition, they haven't won a playoff series round for 16 seasons, the second longest unwanted streak behind the Florida Panthers at 24 seasons.

The history remains at the forefront of Keefe's mind whilst reflecting on the teams success in the regular season.

Keefe said to the media: "In terms of what [the team records] mean, I don't know that it means a lot especially knowing where we need to get to as a team when it counts the most.

"We just need to remain focused on the fact that we are a really good team and can do really good things."

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