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 …
Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation