This post is part of Maple Leafs Day on PHT…
It’s become pretty clear that the Toronto Maple Leafs have a bright future ahead of them.
Last season, the Leafs shocked the hockey world by not only making the postseason (they pushed the Caps in the first round), but also finishing fifth in goals scored.
Sure, they may have given up more goals than any other team in the top five (Penguins, Wild, Capitals, Rangers), but they’re still sorting things out defensively.
Getting back to the offensive side of the puck, what the Maple Leafs were able to accomplish last season was remarkable. Two of their players scored more than 30 goals (Matthews had 40, Nazem Kadri had 32) and they had three guys score 20 or more (James van Riemsdyk had 29, Nylander had 22, Connor Brown had 20), while Marner and Tyler Bozak scored 19 and 18 respectively.
So given the fact that Toronto’s trio of youngsters have a year under their belts and that they brought in Patrick Marleau in free agency, it’s possible that they’ll be even better offensively in 2017-18.
There’s also a chance that Kadri doesn’t score 30 again, but adding Marleau’s 27 goals from last year can definitely compensate for that.
The other top 5 scoring teams in the league all lost key pieces. The Penguins won’t have Nick Bonino or Matt Cullen, the Wild made Martin Hanzal walk in free agency and they also lost Erik Haula and Jason Pominville, the Capitals no longer have Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams, and the Rangers dealt Derek Stepan away to Arizona.
Unless the dreaded sophomore slump hits the Leafs in a big way, they could challenge for that number one spot in the “goals for” category, but will they be able to outscore the rest of the league?
Alright, it’s your turn to vote. As always, feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.