2022 NHL Playoffs: Why this year will be different for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The past is the past. That must be the slogan for the Toronto Maple Leafs as the 2022 NHL Playoffs start. Despite a variety of first-round exits recently, this spring might be really various for the Maple Leafs.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most thrilling season, and all fans must be delighted that their group still takes a crack at to win hockey’s supreme reward, even those in Toronto. It is simple to comprehend why they have some severe uneasiness, however. The Leafs have actually now made the postseason in 6 successive years. In the previous 5, they were gotten rid of in the opening round. To make matters worse, the last 4 series losses went the range, and 2 of them came versus the competitor Boston Bruins.

Now that the haunting memories of the past have actually been reviewed, we can expect a possible deep playoff run by Toronto this season.

Any imagine the Maple Leafs raising the Cup for the very first time considering that 1967 start and end with Auston Matthews. He has actually been among the very best gamers in the league considering that his novice season in 2016-17, however Matthews has actually dipped into an MVP level this season. Matthews is the NHL’s very first 60-goal scorer considering that Steven Stamkos in 2011-12, and he has actually eclipsed the 100-point mark for the very first time in his profession. Matthews likewise leads the NHL in anticipated objectives at five-on-five (24.65), and Toronto manages an amazing 63.91% of the five-on-five anticipated objectives show him on the ice, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Matthews is the kind of gamer that can put the group on his shoulders and turn the tide of a critical video game, or perhaps a whole series. If Matthews plays like a Conn Smythe Award competitor, and there’s no factor to think he will not, Toronto has an excellent shot to leave the preliminary and make a run at the Stanley Cup.

Of course, more than one name goes on the Stanley Cup after it’s won, and the supporting cast around Matthews isn’t too shoddy. The normal suspects are still there in Toronto. Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares will all play huge functions in any type of playoff run for the Leafs. Marner and Nylander have both had profession years, and having the ability to utilize Tavares as a No. 2 center is a high-end that very few groups have actually.

In addition to those high-end playmakers, a couple more weapons have emerged within the Maple Leafs’ forward group. Michael Bunting remains in the running for the Calder Trophy with 23 objectives and 40 helps, and he is 2nd on the group in anticipated objectives at five-on-five with 20.26. Ilya Mikheyev, in his 3rd season with the Leafs, has actually struck the 20-goal mark. Along with Alex Kerfoot, he offers the middle 6 some pop.

Another crucial factor that Toronto may be poised for a postseason advancement is that the group has actually been strong defensively this season, specifically of late. Overall, the Leafs have actually permitted 152.99 anticipated objectives versus at five-on-five this season, which is seventh-best in the NHL. Since getting Mark Giordano ahead of the trade due date, they have actually permitted 32.91 anticipated objectives versus at five-on-five, which ranks 2nd. Being able to slot Giordano on the 3rd pairing has actually reinforced a quite well balanced blue line that likewise consists of Jake Muzzin, Morgan Reilly, T.J. Brodie, and Timothy Liljegren. To take a cliché from every expert in every other sport, defense wins champions, and the Leafs have it this year.

The greatest location of issue for Toronto remains in objective. After a hot start, Jack Campbell went through a deep rut in the middle of the season, however he has actually returned on track in the last month. In that time, Campbell has actually conserved 4.23 objectives above average. The excellent news for the Maple Leafs is that Campbell will not require to take a series. Even typical goaltending will offer this lineup a genuine shot to keep advancing.

There are factors for individuals to question the Maple Leafs entering into these Stanley Cup Playoffs, however a large bulk of those are rooted in the scaries of previous postseasons. When it concerns today circumstance, the group seems established for success. Put those panic buttons away and get your hopes up like the rest people, Toronto.



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