Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews prepare for the faceoff
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The good, the bad, and the ugly of the Maple Leafs' offense this season

Published February 4, 2024 at 10:51

One of the main reasons as to why there's a lot less confidence surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs this year has to do with the lack of secondary and depth scoring. While it has been a common trend over the last few seasons, it seems more amplified in 2023-24.

Heading into the All-Star break, William Nylander paced the club with 61 points, followed by Auston Matthews' 58 points, and then Mitch Marner's 53 points. After that, there's a steep drop-off to Morgan Rielly who has 40 points and John Tavares who has struggled to the tune of 35 points. Even beyond that there's another drop to Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi who have 24 and 20 points, respectively.

Based on an 82-game pace, that would have Nylander at 106 points, Matthews with 103, Marner at 92, Rielly with 70, and Tavares with 61 - the only players with more than 45 points. However when you look around the NHL and take a look at the other teams sitting at the top of the standings, the Maple Leafs' offensive numbers don't look that bad in comparison.

The Vancouver Canucks have 3 players with 60+ points and 4 players with 50+ points in total. Boston has one player with 50+ points and an additional 2 with 40+ points. Colorado has 3 players with 55+ points but no one else even has 30. Florida has 1 player with 60+ points, 2 players with 50+, and just one player with 45+. Dallas has one player with 50 points and another 3 players with 40+.

Of the aforementioned teams above, Vancouver, is 4th in goals against, Florida is 5th, and Boston is 7th in the league. Their respective leaderboards may look inconsistent but they can at least keep the puck out of their net. The Maple Leafs are 15th in the league in goals against, which further pushes the narrative that they need a lot more from their secondary options to mitigate the issues with defense and goaltending. It also highlights the need for an upgrade on the blueline.

Domi and Bertuzzi, who were the big free-agent splashes, are both on pace for some of their worst seasons with 42 and 36 points respectively - on an 82-game pace. However, with 35 games left in the regular seasons, there's still plenty of time for them to turn things around and enjoy a strong second half.

Nylander, Matthews, and Marner will continue to pace the offense with astronomical production that can keep the inconsistencies from the rest of the lineup at bay. Rielly is inching towards a career-high in points but the biggest issue here is Tavares and whether or not he can get back on track.

He's on pace for 23 goals and 61 points, which would be the lowest per game paces of his career. We would have to go all the way back to his rookie year when he scored 24 goals and 54 points in a full 82-game season to find a find a lesser season.

As things stand right now, the Maple Leafs' offense is in pretty good shape with the big-3 taking care of business. If Bertuzzi, Domi, and Tavares can correct their paths and recover from their sluggish starts, the Maple Leafs should fly into the playoffs in high spirits - compared to the current lull that encompasses the organization, even after winning 4 of their last 5 games.
February 4   |   989 answers
The good, the bad, and the ugly of the Maple Leafs' offense this season

Do you think William Nylander will lead the Leafs in points at the end of the season?

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