1967. It’s a year that continues to live in infamy for Toronto. Specifically, that’s the last time the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Also, it was the last year of the NHL as a six-team league. That is a long time ago. Maple Leafs hockey remains the passion of Canada’s largest city. In like manner to college football’s Michigan Wolverines are the Leafs entitled? Cause by an ancient history irrelevant to today. Toronto is a perpetual NHL odds favorite. Much like the Dallas Cowboys. Reality has nothing to do with such teams. It’s all about the brand.
2021 Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs Team Overview
Toronto’s sportsbook record was 36-25-9 in 2019-20. The Maple Leafs finished third in the Atlantic Division. Subsequently, Toronto flopped in the qualifying round to Columbus 3-2. The Leafs ranked 3rd in the NHL for goal scoring and 6th for the power play. Defensively Toronto ranked 26th for goals against and 21st for the penalty kill. Namely, Auston Matthews led the Maple Leafs with 86 points. He also had a team-best +20. Goaltender Frederik Andersen won 31 games.
Toronto’s reality was and remains to be soft. They refuse to play a full 200-foot game. In 2015 the hiring of coach Mike Babcock was expected to end that. However, the entitled Maple Leafs players tuned him out. Babcock was fired early in the 2019-20 season. Since 2004 the Maple Leafs have made the playoffs just five times. Only once in that span did they advance to the second round. Yet we begin another season with Toronto among the top betting favorites.
Toronto Maple Leafs Management and Coaching
General manager Kyle Dubas, age 35, is the perfect millennial general manager. To illustrate he’s into abstract thought and fully wedded to analytics. Dubas never meshed with the old-school Babcock.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe, age 40, worked under Dubas when the Toronto Marlies won the 2018 Calder Cup championship. Keefe replaced Babcock. And went 15-4-1 in his first 20 games. However, the Leafs’ lack of commitment to defense and structure caught up with them.
Toronto Maple Leafs Key Players
Center Auston Matthews, age 23, was the first overall pick of the 2016 NHL Draft by Toronto. Consider Matthews is a four-time All-Star. And was the Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 2017! Last season Matthews exploded to a career-best 47 goals.
Right-wing Mitch Marner, age 23, was the fourth overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft by Toronto. Marner became an NHL All-Star for the first time in his career in 2020. Overall, he scored 16 goals with 51 assists last year.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen, age 31, began his NHL career with Anaheim in 2013. He’s been with the Leafs since 2016. Correlate Andersen posted an impressive .936 save percentage in the Qualifier round last year.
Toronto Maple Leafs History
To summarize Toronto has 13 Stanley Cup championships in their history. But none since 1967. They were founded in 1917 as an “Original Six” franchise. Legends like Johnny Bower, Ace Bailey, Red Kelly, King Clancy, Tim Horton, George Armstrong, Dave Keon, and Darryl Sittler have worn the Maple Leaf.
2021 Toronto Maple Leafs Assessment
As a consequence of being the NHL flagship franchise, the Leafs are perpetually overpriced. Likewise, there is no evidence they’re ready to tighten up defensively.