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Toronto Maple Leafs season update: Inconsistent after solid start

One of the most polarizing teams in hockey early in the 2023/24 NHL season, for better or worse, is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Plenty of eyes are on Toronto this year to see if this star-studded roster can finally make a deep playoff run and ultimately hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. 

The Maple Leafs got off to a strong 5-2-0 start, but have since hit a cold streak. It is far too early in the season for concern, especially for a team this talented. 

Will the Leafs eventually go on a run, lock in a playoff spot, and hold onto it for the majority of the year? 

Probably. But 13 games across a month span is enough of a sample size to get an early and honest look. 

With just over 15 percent of the season in the rear-view, here is a glimpse at the 2023-24 Toronto Maple Leafs thus far.

Record:6-5-2 (14 points)
Point Percentage:.538 (18th in the NHL)
Standings:5th in the Atlantic Division and 8th in the Eastern Conference

Key wins:

  • 10/21/23: 4-3 (OT) vs Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 10/26/23: 4-1 vs Dallas Stars
  • 11/6/23: 6-5 (OT) vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Key losses: 

  • 10/16/23: 4-1 vs Chicago Blackhawks
  • 10/19/23: 3-1 vs Florida Panthers 
  • 11/8/23: 6-3 vs Ottawa Senators

Key Statistical Leaders

Goals

  • Auston Matthews: 13
  • William Nylander: 7
  • Mitchell Marner: 5
  • John Tavares: 5

Assists

  • Mitchell Marner: 12
  • William Nylander: 11
  • John Tavares: 9

Points

  • Auston Matthews: 19
  • William Nylander: 18
  • Mitchell Marner: 17

Plus-Minus

  • TJ Brodie: +6
  • Morgan Reilly: +6
  • Calle Jarnkrok: +5

Power Play Goals

  • Auston Matthews: 4
  • William Nylander: 3
  • Tyler Bertuzzi: 2

Time On Ice

  • Morgan Reilly: 24:47
  • TJ Brodie: 22:03
  • Auston Matthews: 21:33

NHL Team Stat Rankings (out of 32)

Goals scored per game:12
Goals allowed per game:28
Goals scored 5 on 5:12
Goals allowed 5 on 5:28
Power Play Percentage:5
Penalty Kill Percentage:10
Faceoff Percentage:13
Shots on goal per game:9
Shots allowed per game:17
Save percentage:20

Top Performers:

Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitchell Marner, and John Tavares all have over a point per game average. 

With that, it is a little jarring that they are underachieving thus far. Nonetheless, the individual performances are there. 

Matthews has a ridiculous three hat tricks (!) already which is extremely impressive in 13 games played. He willed Toronto to a big comeback overtime win over a solid Tampa team. 

Auston Matthews certainly stands out so far not only in Toronto, but in the entire NHL.

On the defensive side of the puck, Morgan Reilly has been the stalwart. 

Reilly has a solid 10 points in 13 games but is responsible on the defensive side of the puck as well. His reliability is reflected in the ice time he is rewarded with which is on average nearly 3 minutes more than the next skater on the Leafs. 

Reilly’s +6 plus/minus reinforces that generally, positive things happen when he is on the ice. 

Odds

To win Eastern Conference:+575 
To win Stanley Cup:+1100

Verdict

As mentioned, it is far too early to hit the “Panic” button in Toronto. With each loss, their odds and value will actually look more attractive to an extent. 

Unless the Maple Leafs hit an Oilers-esque slump, a short-term losing streak could give them favorable betting odds for when they all but likely break out of it and make their usual playoff run. 

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