2000. That is the last time the Leafs have had the best record in their division in the regular season. It wasn’t quite as decisively as the Leafs have done it this year, as they won the division with 100 points, five more than the second place team in the Northeast division, the Ottawa Senators, who they would also go on to play in the first round.
Since then, the Leafs have struggled to be as dominant in their division as that. Those early 00’s teams were consistently in the playoffs, but could never be as dominant in the regular season as the Sens and Boston Bruins. After the lockout, they were bad for 10 of the next 11 seasons, with the one team sneaking in being the overperforming 2012-13 team that finished third in their own division. After that year, the division alignments also changed, another factor that would contribute to the Leafs division title struggles, as once they finally got competitive in 2016-17, it was at the same time as the still dominant Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins teams.
Now, you could argue that their success this year comes with an asterisk. After all, they needed to move away from …
Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation