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What are your honest expectations for the Leafs this season?

We’ve had plenty of time to assess the off-season moves by the Leafs.  With the rookie games behind us and "real" training camp around only hours away, now is the time when we can seriously look at what we think may unfold in the weeks to come.

As the Leafs seem to have a nearly-set roster (the fun, barring some major surprise, will likely be watching Colborne/Kadri/Frattin fighting for one of the "available" forward spots), here's the question.  Are the Leafs:
  • A)  a genuine article, sure-fire playoff team, a club that can go at least a round or two in the playoffs
  • B) a borderline playoff squad that may make it, may not make it, but is strong enough to be in the hunt into April
  • C) not a playoff team yet, for a variety of reasons

Which is it?

My sense is the Leafs are in category “b”.  A few weeks back I referred to them as a low “3” on a 1-5 scale (click to read the earlier post.) In my world, that means they are lacking or at least un-proven in enough areas that, while I think they can fight like heck for a playoff berth, I’m not quite sure they will make it- yet.

Some will be thrilled if they are a hard-working team that is competitive.  Some will be OK as long as they are entertaining most nights.  For others, the playoffs are the minimum.

How do you see it—and why?


  1. Some of many predictions for Leafs this season;

    a)Minus Beauchemin Add Liles+Franson who both are more offensive minded and porous in their own zone I predict shots against to increase to 2,600.

    b)Reimer to play 57 games, Gustavsson 21 and Other goaltenders 4 . Reimer avg 0.921 Sv% 37 games last season however every month played we saw decreasing Sv%. Now designated No.1 goaltender and book is out on Reimer I predict his mean at 0.910 Sv% this season, Gustavsson playing protected games 0.901 and other goaltenders 0.905. Even distribution of shots against therefore total goals against including 7 empty net goals against at 248.

    c)Power Play will improve based on off- season additions of Connolly, Liles and Franson, plus improved power play of Dion Phaneuf. I predict 320 PP opportunities Leafs will score 58 power play goals for 18.0% (16% in 10/11.

    d)I will not break down total Goals for per player, overall I predict Leafs will score 230 goals for, up 17 goals from last season 213 goals for.

    e)Goal Differential- 230 GF minus 248 GA = (18).

    f)Post lockout only a few teams who played post-season had single digit negative goal differential.

    g)Leafs improved off-season but so have Buffalo, NYR, arguably Phi, health Pitt?, Wash, etc, Leafs will have to improve that much more to stay withing striking distance.

    h)Therefore because of above and other undisclosed reasons, I predict Leaf record 38-31-13 for 89 pts. Final playoff spot in Eastern Conference will require 94 pts.

    Conclusion: Leafs will not make playoffs in 2011-2012, finishing 10th in Eastern Conf. and 20th overall.

  2. IF Reimer is the real deal, and the team picks up more or less where it left off: I'm in category (b). I liked the developing chemistry, the bigger/tougher defence, and the growing leadership of Phaneuf.
    There's no question that other teams have improved as well, but I'm counting on parity to keep us in the hunt. (Admittedly, I'm also weary of ending up 10th, so there may be a bit of wishful thinking here.)

  3. Walter B- that's a very detailed analysis. Thanks for your comments. It will be interesting to look back in April and see where your prognostications land!

    Gerund O'- A big "If", as you outline, on Reimer, but that may well help tip the scales, for sure.

    KidK- your shortest comment yet! Have to love your optimism/hopefulness/passion/...I'll stop there...

  4. Here's an even shorter one- Playoffs!!1