Good Things About the Toronto Maple Leafs To Get You Pumped – Editor in Leaf

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal at 13:10 in overtime to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 07: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal at 13:10 in overtime to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs Training Camp starts this week.

Normally, everyone would be getting pretty excited.  Summer turns to fall, the kids go back to school, and the dawn of a new Toronto Maple Leafs season makes everyone forget the crushing disappointment of the last one.

Except this year, I don’t think people have forgotten and I don’t think people are that excited.  Though the vocal contingent probably isn’t very representative of the fan base at large, I do get the feeling from just about everyone that I talk to that patience is running thin, and thus, excitement for the regular season is low.

Not for me. I love this team, and I love the end of September/start of October anticipation. I can’t wait to watch exhibition games at this point (that usually lasts about one period).

But if you’re not excited, here are some reasons you should be:

Reasons to be Excited About the Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews.  With a new surgically repaired wrist, Matthews will look to improve on the 41 goals in 52 games he scored at less than 100%.

The guy won the Goal Scoring Title, and led all players by nine goals at 5v5, which is ridiculous to start with, but just absurd when you figure he played ten of those games being totally unable to shoot the puck.   He’s the best player in franchise history and I don’t care how bad the team around him is, watching him play in the blue and white makes ever single year under Burke, Lou or Ferguson Jr worthwhile.

Another reason is that Mitch Marner would be almost any other team’s franchise player, and he’s only the Leafs second best.

If that doesn’t excite you, how about the fact that this is the best roster the Leafs have iced during their entire 55+ year Cup Drought.

I don’t know if it’s a reason to get excited, but you can at least be proud that the Leafs are banning the unvaccinated from their games, and that 100% of their players are also vaccinated.  Few decisions by the Toronto Maple Leafs have ever been this universally celebrated and popular, so if you disagree, that’s something for you to think about.

Finally, the biggest reason to be excited is that the stats tell us the Leafs just got a bad break last year, and that they enter this season as one of the best teams in the NHL.  Along with Colorado (who lost their starting goalie) and Tampa (who lost a third of their team) the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the trifecta of teams who have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup this year.

Bonus Reason for Excitement:  As the playoff sample size grows, Marner and Matthews’s production will align with their underlying numbers, which is a very bad thing for whoever happens to play them.     So even if you’re still upset about what happened last spring, let it go and enjoy the road to the Cup that begins in four days.