Toronto Maple Leafs: Early look at the team’s overall performance

Morgan Rielly #44, Auston Matthews #34, Nazem Kadri #43, John Tavares #91 and Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Morgan Rielly #44, Auston Matthews #34, Nazem Kadri #43, John Tavares #91 and Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs scored four goals on-route to their fifth win of the 2018/19 season, but how have they been performing across the board?

The Toronto Maple Leafs face the Los Angeles Kings tonight in their seventh game of the season, with their opening six all seeing many goals scored – from both sides.

Mike Babcock’s team boasts huge firepower in front of goal, with the likes of Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner all well above point-per-game players at this early stage of the season.

Defenceman Morgan Rielly is also stepping up hugely on both sides of the puck, leading league defencemen in points.

The team have scored 29 goals across their opening six games, averaging 4.83 a game (2nd best in the league), while also boasting the second-best power-play in the entire league – with a 47% success rate when given a man advantage.

They are currently ranked first in the entire league with a 5-1-0 record, the first team to reach double-digit points this season.

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But while the team has been flying on the offensive side of the game, there are still many questions being raised about the team’s defensive corps.

Rielly is quickly establishing himself as a top defensive player in the NHL, and Travis Dermott is a bright spark behind established veteran Jake Gardiner.

So is the team’s corps really as bad as people believe?

The Leafs currently rank 11th in the NHL for success on the penalty kill, averaging 81.3% across their opening six games.

While they rank 9th in the highest number of goals averaged against (3.67), the team has conceded the second-highest amount of goals overall with 22.

This places them just below the Detroit Red Wings, who have allowed 23 goals in just five games so far.

This, however, has come with the Leafs facing the 11th highest number of shots per game average, with opposing teams managing 30.2 shots on average – with the Leafs averaging 31.7 themselves.

Their face-off stats could certainly be improved, with a 14th-best 50.8% success rate currently – something that should improve as the season wears on.

The Leafs are a team that others are beginning to take notice of and become fearful of, with one of the deadliest power-play groups in the league and a goaltender that usually improves his performances as the season goes along.

Frederik Andersen currently sits at 3.02 goals against average with a disappointing .899 save percentage – poor stats for a starting goaltender in this league.

However, Andersen is well known for his slow starts an by the end of the season is often in the Vezina conversation – something that will help solidify the Toronto Maple Leafs on the back-end.

After the team’s 4-2 victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champions the Washington Capitals, Lars Eller made comments downplaying the quality of the Leafs.

With Babcock’s team sitting roughly around the upper-middle of the pack, some might see why he commented in this way.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs improve defensively, they are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the league and could put themselves firmly in the cup contender conversation.

A high powered offence is what teams now expect from the Leafs and with William Nylander still unsigned, this could even be improved when he finally returns.

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What do you think Leafs Nation? Are you impressed with what you’ve seen from the team so far this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

All stats acquired from – up to date as of October 14th 2018.