Toronto Maple Leafs Atop NHL Eastern Conference Atlantic Division
The Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting pretty in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division with 6 wins and only 1 loss. This is the 7th time in franchise history that they have held this record. They are 2 wins ahead of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning. Although it is early in the season, the Maple Leafs are showing that they can contend at the highest level.
They are performing so well that residents can place bets on them through legal online gambling options in Canada. You can bet on the Maple Leafs on a game-to-game basis, or potentially place a bet on them to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. The latter bet may be a bit of a stretch, since their last Stanley Cup win came in 1967, but if they can keep this momentum going, better to place your wager early.
Head coach Mike Babcock stated that the Maple Leafs’ success hinges on their performance with back-to-back nights. These quick turnarounds were a significant factor for them last year, as they can be for any team. However, the Maple Leafs are fortunate in that they only have 14 throughout the entire regular season—4 less than last year. They are off to a good start after they successfully shut out the Washington Capitals and beat the Detroit Redwings in an exciting 3-6 match.
One of their best qualities is their ability to put points on the board quickly. Their last game was against the Red Wings and Toronto put up 4 points on 5 shots by the end of the first period. This happened at the mercy of 2 Red Wings’ goalies. Toronto is currently leading the entire league in goals scored with 34 at 4.86 goals per game.
Unfortunately, with one of their best qualities comes one of their biggest flaws. The Maple Leafs have a difficult time maintaining the leads they build. They have surrendered big leads twice now in the season, once against the New York Rangers and again in the Detroit game. The team realizes their erroneous trend and cites maturity and composure as the 2 key issues. Teams tend to abandon the same ferocity that helped them achieve a lead once they are there, so the maturity to compose yourself in these situations goes a long way.
Their depth at the goalie position will help make them a strong team in the Eastern Conference and a solid sports betting option with Canadian online sportsbooks. NHL veteran Curtis McElhinney plays backup to No. 1 option Frederik Andersen, and McElhinney managed to stop 29 of 32 shots in his second start of the season against Detroit. They say defense wins championships, and if the perimeter players can tidy up the neutral zone to relieve pressure on their goalies while maintaining their rate of offensive scoring, the Maple Leafs could make a case to clinch the Atlantic Division.
If you are interested on riding the coattails of the Maple Leafs’ success, consider betting on them through licensed offshore sportsbooks. Canadian gambling laws permit such betting, and there are a lot of opportunities with the number of NHL games in the regular season. The Maple Leafs will look to stave off the Lightning as the season rolls on, but only consistent play will help them achieve this.