Exploring whether or not the Leafs truly need more secondary scoring

Let’s start with the obvious answer to the title of this post: secondary scoring couldn’t hurt the Leafs. And let’s start with an obvious caveat that it couldn’t hurt the Leafs as long as their team defense doesn’t suffer due to bringing in more secondary scoring. If the Leafs could drop someone into their lineup tomorrow that would outperform Zach Aston-Reese offensively without having to give up his defensive zone play or his willingness to hit absolutely everything, the Leafs would probably make that upgrade.
Of course, it is more complicated than that, but it’s also worth taking a look at how the Leafs measure up when it comes to their secondary scoring and the challenges that come with that.
First let me establish what I’m using as my definition of primary, secondary, tertiary, and non-scorers.
Primary scorers are the top quarter of forwards in total points per sixty with a minimum of 25 games played. Secondary scorers will be that next quarter of forwards, Tertiary next, and finally your non-scorers make up the bottom group. It’s not the most in depth approach, but it’s simple. It considers all situations as well, and is largely meant to explore the simple idea that the Leafs need secondary scoring. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs may have a hard time repeating 2021-22

So you’ve read the title and you’ve decided to be angry. That’s okay, you are a user of the internet after all. It’s to be expected.
But allow me to take the edge off your fury before I dampen your hopes:
The Leafs are still an excellent team
The Leafs will make the playoffs and likely challenge for home-ice advantage
The Leafs’ new-look goaltending, with all its uncertainty, will have a hard time being worse than last year’s 29th-ranked Jack Campbell/Petr Mrazek tandem
However, there are a few things standing in the way of another 115-point season for the Maple Leafs.
The first is history. Twenty-three teams have put up a 0.701 points percentage (115-point pace) or higher in the NHL’s salary cap era, with four of those cases happening last season (FLA, COL, CAR, TOR). Of the remaining 19 teams, just four were able to cross the 0.701 threshold the next season. Additionally, just one of those four teams actually improved upon their point total from the previous season. That one team? Last year’s Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers, who jumped from 0.705 in 2020-21 to 0.744 in 2021-22. Simply put, it’s a hard mountain to climb two years in a row.
The second is the strengthening of the Atlantic division. The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn released his NHL offseason improvement r …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation