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Wednesday FTB: The Leafs are rising up the standings

Hold on, have you actually looked at the standings recently?

Nashville Predators v Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have been winning a lot of games recently, and that’s just great. They’re 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, making them the hottest team in the league. Their stars are starting to score again, their depth is contributing to drag their expected vs actual goal differential out of the negative, and Jack Campbell is making saves and [knocks on wood] staying healthy.

I wanted to check in on where the Leafs are in the standings as of writing this on Tuesday night. I see they are second in the division by total points behind Florida. By point percentage, they’re comfortably in third behind Florida and Tampa. Fourth is... Detroit?! Boston is tied with Buffalo?!

So some slightly surprising results in the division so far, and after looking around at the rest of the league there are a lot more of them.

Take the Metro, where the New York Rangers are currently leading the division by total points. But by point percentage they’re third behind Carolina and Washington, who have both played fewer games. New Jersey, Philadelphia and Columbus are neck and neck for the fourth spot, while in the basement are two surprises in Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders.

In the Central, Minnesota is on top. Winnipeg and Nashville are tied for second and then St. Louis has a comfortable lead on pre-season Cup favorites: Colorado. Unsurprisingly, Dallas, Chicago and... woof, Arizona are in the basement. Arizona is bottom of the league with a 1-13-1 record. They’re seven points behind CHICAGO.

The Pacific has more surprises. Edmonton is on top, which isn’t that surprising. But second is... Anaheim? Who have won seven straight?1 Calgary is in third and Vegas and the LA Kings are fighting for fourth. San Hose isn’t far behind either. Vancouver and Seattle are pretty well out of it now, Seattle mostly because of awful goaltending.

I will admit, I had not checked the standings until now. It’s wild seeing some of the teams doing surprisingly well and surprisingly poor. Detroit, Columbus, New Jersey, Nashville, Anaheim and Los Angeles aren’t tops of their division, and are more middle of the pack. But that gives them a real shot to steal a playoff spot. Of those, I’d give better odds to New Jersey and LA. I’m not buying Detroit yet, but their rookie duo of Raymond and Seider have looked excellent. I’m especially not buying Anaheim yet, but their young stars are playing great and they have good goaltending that could carry them.

LEAFS LINKS

Recap: Maple Leafs beat Predators 3-0 | by Seldo

Leafs acquire forward Kyle Clifford for future considerations | by Fulemin

PD Oh No: The Maple Leafs, Percentages and You | by Katya

Leafs Prospect Update: William Villeneuve and Veeti Miettinen bump slumps, Ryan Tverberg scores in five straight, International Tournament Updates | by MLHS

Michael Bunting is just what the Leafs need, but they still need to identify where | by TLN

The Maple Leafs are trending up. But are they better or worse than last season? | by The Athletic

Dion Phaneuf honoured to announce retirement with Maple Leafs | by Sportsnet.ca

AROUND THE HOCKEY WORLD

Ex-AHL coach Clark Donatelli indicted in Rhode Island on 4 counts of sexual assault | by Katie Strang

Report: Fenway Sports Group nearing deal to buy Pens | by TSN.ca

Canucks owner to meet with GM Jim Benning on Tuesday | by Sportsnet.ca

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This is just delightful...

This 13-year-old play-by-play announcer is rocking the world of hockey | CBC News

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