The frustration of Toronto sports teams not achieving the success that their fans know they are capable of has been a continuous drag to say the least. The Toronto Maple Leafs fit this category to a T. The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs made the playoffs was when the NHL had the lockout in 2012/2013. And I don’t need to remind you of game 7 against the Boston Bruins. It’s all a moment we would rather not relive. Many fans knew that it was going to take some time for the organization to rebuild. Well that time has finally come.
Landing Auston Matthews in the lottery was a blessing. He has beaten Wendell Clark for goals by a rookie and at this moment he is at 38 goals. Who would of thought that a team encompassed by rookies would excel? Rookies such as Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Conor Brown, and Nikita Zaitsev etc. have lifted the team. Of course there is still work to be done defensively, but Mike Babcock has done a stellar job shaping up the team. The Leafs are currently in a playoff position and it will be exciting to see what they can do if they make the playoffs.
The Leafs definitely have an advantage by having many young players on the team, as they are agile, fast, skilled, determined, and great skaters. In regards to goaltending Frederick Andersen has been inconsistent at times, more towards the beginning of the season, but he has come along as the Leafs number one goalie. He has definitely kept the Leafs in a lot of games, many of those games turning into wins. Posting a 32-15-14 record with 4 shut outs, which is respectable.
The Leafs power play has been an area of major improvement. This is an area where they lacked success in the past. This is not the case in 2017. The Leafs are number one in the NHL for the power play, and when there have been close games and the Leafs have the man advantage this has helped them win games. The puck movement during the powerplay has been amazing as well as teamwork. In the past when The Leafs were behind in a game the likelyhood of them coming back to win was unlikely, but this scenario has changed. The Leafs have been able to come back in games, which shows tenacity.
So it’s safe to say we are no longer laughing at the Leafs, but hopefully we’ll be cheering into the playoffs.