The Toronto Maple Leafs have had an interesting start to the 2023-24 NHL season. Their performance has been a rollercoaster. They win a couple, lose a couple, then win and lose again. The early games have been so up-and-down.
The question is, how should we grade their performance at this point?
Hockey Insider Seravalli Gives the Maple Leafs a Grade of “C”
Frank Seravalli, a prominent NHL analyst, weighed in on the Maple Leafs’ season. His verdict? The team gets a solid “C.” In his assessment, the team’s performance is just “OK.”
Seravalli believes that the Maple Leafs haven’t been terrible. Their records and production seem acceptable, and most of the underlying metrics look fine. However, there have been some hiccups along the way.
One of the most significant issues Seravalli highlights is that, despite strong individual performances from star players like William Nylander, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews, the team as a whole seems to be missing something. It’s as if there’s a missing piece in the puzzle. The eye test reveals that the team collectively isn’t quite passing muster.
Lingering Question Marks for the Maple Leafs
Seravalli also points out that there are lingering question marks, particularly on the defensive side of things. The Maple Leafs have shown inconsistencies in their own end, raising concerns about their ability to keep opponents at bay. Now the team has two defensemen down and are trying to cover for their missing.
In the goaltending department, there’s another puzzle to solve. While Joseph Woll has shown promise, Ilya Samsonov has been down and (more recently) up. He thinks there’s a sense that the team might need a more reliable tandem in net to navigate the challenges of a long NHL season. While I disagree, I can see where he’s coming from.
How Will the Maple Leafs Play Over Their Next 10 Games?
So, as the Maple Leafs continue their journey in the 2023-24 season, they’ll need to address these question marks, find that missing piece, and strive to elevate their performance from just “OK” to a higher standard.
The expectations for this Maple Leafs team are high. Their fans expect and are waiting for the Maple Leafs to hit their stride. Can the team prove that it is a dominant force in this league? We’ll see over the next 10 games or so.
I’m looking for this team to go on a run, being led by good goalie play and a revitalized Mitch Marner. But, we’ll see.