Do Not Be Fooled by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Hot Start

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TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 7: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the St. Louis Blues during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 7, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blues defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs hot start to the 2019 NHL season is making noise around the NHL. The Leafs are giving fans hope that this could be the year they win it all. However, Maple Leaf fans should be wary about jumping to conclusions based on the Maple Leafs hot start.

Do Not Be Fooled By The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Hot Start

The Toronto Maple Leafs have started hot in this current NHL season. Five days into the regular season, the team sits on top of the league standings. Their offseason moves, so far, seem to be paying off. Although it is incredibly early in the season, the team looks primed for a run at the Stanley Cup. It appears as if this could be the Maple Leafs year; words that will be music to Maple Leaf fans’ ears. 

However, NHL fans have seen a Toronto Maple Leafs hot start before. It has become almost standard for the Leafs to start their season off strong. In the last two years, both the Maple Leafs and Auston Matthews have started the season on fire. 

A History Of Early Success

At the beginning of the 2017-18 NHL season, the Leafs started the season with seven wins and two losses. Auston Matthews, in those nine games, registered seven goals and five assists. However, in their last ten games of the season, the team went five and five which was a rather average finish. At the start of the 2018-19 season, the Leafs started the season with a bang. The team went eight and three in their first eleven games. In those eight wins, Matthews racked up ten goals and six assists. The 2018-19 season finish was similar to the Leafs’ finish the previous year.  Instead of ending the season as strongly as their start, the team went four and seven in their last eleven games.

For both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, as the season progressed the Maple Leafs regressed. The Leafs still finished the season relatively high in the standings, but towards the end of the season, the team did not dominate as it had at the beginning of the season. And, most importantly in both seasons, the Leafs ultimately fell to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

This trend is currently holding for this year. Not only have the Leafs gotten off to a hot start, but Auston Matthews is dominating as he has for the past two years. Right now, the young Arizona native has five goals in only three games. If the Leafs stay true to true to their current course, they will begin to slow down.

Early Success Does Not Equal A Championship

The sad reality for the Maple Leafs is that success early in the season is much less important than success later on in the season. The greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, once said, “it’s not how you start, but how you finish.” Last season, the St. Louis Blues were dead last in the NHL in January, and they went on to win the Stanley Cup. Thus, proving Phelps correct. 

There is no saying what is in store for the Maple Leafs. They could go on as the team to beat through the entire regular season. Then continue their success in the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup. But, if history repeats itself, the Maple Leafs and their fans will be in for a load of disappointment. NHL fans, in general, should not be fooled by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ hot Start.

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