In this post, I’m going to look at the upcoming 2022-23 regular season to offer some thoughts to Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans – and random thoughts they are – as the team heads into the season. I think this could be a great season for the Blue and White.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Kadri, Hirvonen, McMann & Bunting

Thought One: The Maple Leafs Might Be Better This Season than Last Season

Like Jack Campbell or not, last season the Toronto Maple Leafs had the 27th worst goaltending in the NHL in five-on-five hockey.  As reported in Editor in Leaf, every other team with goaltending that ranked that low missed the playoffs. 

Matt Murray, Maple Leafs Goalie

In fact, the Maple Leafs’ team out-performed their goalie play by a wide margin. Even with the goalie play being so poor, the Maple Leafs had the fourth-best record in the entire NHL. No one who matters much is gone.

How will Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov do? Even if they just do as well as last season’s goalies, the team should do as well.

Thought Two: The Core Four Remains the Core Four

Like them or not; think the team shouldn’t have so much money wrapped up in four players or not; disagree with the team’s philosophy or not; the fact is that Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander still are on the team’s first two lines. They were last season, and they are this season.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs Rookie Card

The only one of those players that’s past his physical prime is Tavares, and he’s still almost a point-a-game player. Every single one of the other players is getting bettereveryy season. Does anyone want to bet there’s an offensive fall-off with either of Matthews, Marner, or Nylander? Not soon is the answer.


Thought Three: The Maple Leafs Have More Pieces in Place this Season than Last Season

Last season the top two lines were pretty solid. But after that, who knew? Two key pieces came to the team last season – one was Michael Bunting, who found a huge spot on the first line as a partner with Marner and Matthews. The second piece was David Kampf, who became the shutdown center of a third line that truly was a strong contributor to the team.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, now with the Maple Leafs (numbered Upper Deck card)

This season the team’s project has been the fourth line, and there’s a huge parade of possibilities of players who might make a difference. Nicolas Aube-Kubel might be the most physical player on the team. Adam Gaudette is looking for a rebound season. Then there are a host of young Marlies players willing and anxious (if not completely ready) for prime-time action. Surely the coaching staff can find three of those players who can make life tough for the opposition.

For these three reasons alone – and there are more – I’m so looking forward to the coming season.

Related: Is Maple Leafs’ Pontus Holmberg the Second-Line Answer?

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