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Wednesdays FTB: The Maple Leafs at 20 games.

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It’s great right now! It’s been a lot worse.

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have played 20 games so far this season and have won just under three quarters of those games with a 14-4-2 record, which once again, puts them first in the North Division and second in the league (by points percentage, they’re first by points).

Off games losses to the Ottawa Senators aside, this is a fantastic start to the season. It got me thinking about what the Leafs have been like after 20 games over the past 20 seasons, because it’s nice when numbers match and it will pad out this FTB a bit.

2020-21
Record: 14-4-2
Season ending: Stanley Cup

This is now, and it’s pretty great.

2019-20
Record: 9-7-4
Season ending: Missed playoffs

Season opened with a loss to the Senators, and there was a huge 7-3 loss to the Lightning, but most games were a little close.

2018-19
Record: 14-6-0
Season ending: First round loss to the Bruins

Opened with an overtime win over the Habs, saw the crazy 7-6 OT win over the Blackhawks, and only one big loss (5-1 to Boston).

2017-18
Record: 13-7-0
Season ending: First round loss to the Bruins

Another great start! We had a huge 7-2 win over Winnipeg to kick things off, followed up by an 8-5 victory over the Rangers. No blowout losses before game 20.

2016-17
Record: 8-8-4
Record: First round loss to Washington

A bad start with a 5-4 OT loss to Ottawa (but four goals!), a four game losing streak, and then a three gamer that led up to game 20.

2015-16
Record: 7-9-4
Season ending: Auston Matthews!

For the Leafs goal of drafting first, this was an awful start. Too many wins.

2014-15
Record: 10-8-2
Season ending: Mitch Marner!

So no Connor McDavid, but we did get the infamous 9-2 loss to the Predators and Mitch Marner out of the season.

2013-14
Record: 12-7-1
Season ending: No playoffs

It looked like a promising start. They weren’t world beaters but they had a decent start, then the 18 wheeler fell off a cliff.

2013
Record: 12-8-0
Season ending: First round loss to the Bruins

Another season that started in January saw the Leafs come out with a similar record to this year. Hopefully the ending is very different,

2011-12
Record: 11-7-2
Season Ending: No playoffs

Average all the way but with two big blowout losses to the Bruins.

2010-11
Record: 8-9-3
Season ending: No playoffs

Start with a four game win streak, the break up the wins with three or four game losing streaks.

2009-10
Record: 3-11-6
Season ending: Shockingly, no playoffs

The season started as well as it began.

2008-09
Record: 7-8-5
Season ending: No Playoffs

The season started with a 3-2 win over the Red Wings, spoiling their Stanley Cup banner raising, then a five game losing streak. Fun!

2007-08
Record: 7-8-5
Season ending: No playoffs

The post-cancelled season Leafs were really bad, eh?

2006-07
Record: 11-5-4
Season ending: No playoffs

Started with lots of OT and losses, but the final eight games of the first 20 were almost all wins. Did they turn it around? No!

2005-06
Record: 11-7-2
Season ending: No playoffs

After a year without hockey the Maple Leafs started the season off by losing the first ever NHL shootout and it ended by a shootout between the Devils and Islanders.

2004-05
Record: 0-0-0
Season ending: It never began

2003-04
Record: 7-6-5
Season ending: Second round loss to Flyers

Wait, there’s a second round?

2002-03
Record: 8-10-2-0
Season ending: First round loss to Flyers

Game one was a 6-0 win over the Penguins, game 20 was a 6-0 win over the Flyers. Symmetry is great.

2001-02
Record: 11-4-2-3
Season ending: Lost Conference Finals to the Hurricanes

Remember ties? The Leafs had two of them! 2-2 with the Canadiens, 1-1 with the Devils. Then they went to the conference finals? That doesn’t sound right.

2000-01
Record: 10-6-3-1
Season ending: Lost second round to the Devils

All the wins were big, all the losses were close. That’s how it should be.


So, the point is. What is it? Yeah, it’s that a record like the Leafs have now means playoffs are pretty much a lock and let’s be glad this isn’t the JFJ/Burke era anymore.

Now, some news.

The Marlies have a full schedule!

Katya took a look at the Leafs opponents over the next few games:

Maple Leafs Hot Stove has a new podcast. Everyone tell them to let me on there.

In the “No Soap Operas, just hockey” department

This had the Canadiens fans and media building a conspiracy bunker. In some hastily deleted tweets, Brian Wilde of CTV Montreal was peddling the old “The war room is in Toronto so they’re all biased towards the Leafs” bit. Just accept your losses to Ottawa. We have. Mostly.

The Rangers fans are looking to mix things up:

Question from Hockey Central that I’ll repeat here:

Poll

Would you trade Eichel for Lafreniere?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Yes
    (82 votes)
  • 60%
    No
    (127 votes)
209 votes total Vote Now

The hits just keep on coming for the Sabres

Finally, to end on a high note, the Montreal Canadiens are now fourth in the division by both points percentage and points.

Have a great day everyone!