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Your 2017/18 Toronto Maple Leafs

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Obviously I don’t want Nylander and Matthews to be out, but I think compared to most teams we’re pretty well-equipped the deal with a couple forwards going down.

I do expect Matthews to play next game though.

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To the surprise of no one, I'm sure.  

Asset management continues to be a clear priority with this leadership group.  Which seems like it oughta go without saying, really.  But recent history with this club, and yeah it's definitely worth a mention.   

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It seems that TO's ability to shot from the dangerous areas is severely compromised without Matthews as per   http://www.tsn.ca/video/leafs-fallen-from-1st-to-last-in-shots-from-the-slot-without-matthews~1263818

TO hasn't outshot the opposition since Nov.2 vs. LA and that might have been because LA was willing to sit on their lead, before that game TO hadn't outshot the opposition since Oct. 11?

I love that TO can win, is winning but I'm hoping TO will be able to convince me that this steak isn't a house of cards that a light wind will blow down.

Goalies are definitely a part of the team but it's seeming like they are the sum total of TO's d. In the games of Nov. of which there are 8, the goalies have been awarded 1st star 5 times according to Espn  http://www.espn.com/nhl/team/schedule/_/name/tor/toronto-maple-leafs and I would agree with this conclusion.

 

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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhl-quarter-mark-report-maple-leafs-developing-scary-team/

Expectations for the 2017-18 Toronto Maple Leafs came in hot following last spring’s nail-biting playoff cameo and some aggressive off-season spending, but fans should feel encouraged by how their Buds have performed through the season’s first 22 games.

Winners of six of their past seven, the Maple Leafs’ spiffy record (14-8-0) and goal differential (+13) place them second overall in the Eastern Conference, behind the early Presidents’ Trophy favourite Tampa Bay Lightning. Anything but a first- or second-place finish in a soft Atlantic Division should be seen as a disappointment for a talented squad that is still searching for an optimal lineup, consistent effort, and improving its play without the puck.

Optimism abounds as this group still has time and space to improve.

THE GOOD: Skill and scoring, for starters.

Auston Matthews leads the pack with 12 goals, 11 of them at even-strength, but Nazem Kadri (10 goals) is well on pace for back-to-back 30-goal campaigns, and James van Riemsdyk (11 goals, 17 points) is enjoying a contract year that should pay handsomely.

The Leafs’ power play rates among the NHL’s most dangerous, with both units equally frightening.

GRADE: B+. Flights of inconsistency, some alarming defensive lapses, and another sub-par start by Andersen remind Leafs fans that this is still a young, developing group whose flaws get exposed when running up against savvy, patient teams like Los Angeles, San Jose, and Ottawa. But when Andersen is dialed in and they don’t lay off the gas against beatable opponents, the scariest shooters north of Tampa Bay feel free to run wild.

 

THE BAD: Toronto’s gaudy scoring numbers—a league-high 79 goals, 11 different players registering at least 10 points already—obscure the fact that they’ve been outshot by about three pucks per game.

After a scorching, freewheeling start to the year, Toronto suffered from poor defensive breakouts and questioned its collective confidence during a miserable 1-3 reality-check road trip through California and Missouri.

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