HOCKEY GM ADVICE
The Maple Leafs are 5 games into the season and are currently holding a 4-1-0 record. Their stars have been their star, with Tavares and Marner having 10 points each and Matthews and Reilly having an incredible 12. But up until this point the Leafs have only played against teams that failed to make the playoffs last season. While we are not saying that what they have accomplished thus far this season is not incredible, but it does cause for a bit of speculation if they could have accomplished such stats if they were playing playoff teams such as Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Boston etc..
Tonight they play the Stanley Cup champions, who are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Devils, 6-0. They will be hungry, and wanting to rebound, and are by far a much better defensive team than the Leafs have played yet this season.
Tonight will be a huge test, while it is still very early in the season, if the Leafs can dominate the Capitals, the same way they have dominated other teams up until this point (besides the Ottawa Senators) they could be the team to beat going into the playoffs.
The Leafs Powerplay is operating at an incredible 50%, and the Capitals powerplay is lethal as well, so both teams will want to stay out of the box against eachother tonight!
One stat leafs fans may want to be aware of as well, while Matthews has an incredible 12 points in 5 games, he is also a -1. Which means he is being outscored while on the ice 5on5 and is relying heavily on the powerplay to get his points. And caps fans know all to well, in the 13-14 season, Ovechkin had 51 goals, but was also a -35. So while he did score, and received a lot of power play points, having him on the ice 5 on 5 was terrible for the team. Let’s hope this isnt the case for Matthews this season as well!
Goodluck tonight to both teams.