02/22/2024

FLA:

0

CAR:

1

Final

COL:

1

DET:

2

Final

NYR:

5

NJD:

1

Final

DAL:

1

OTT:

4

Final

MTL:

1

PIT:

4

Final

WSH:

5

TBL:

3

Final

NYI:

0

STL:

4

Final

BOS:

2

CGY:

3

Final

VAN:

2

SEA:

5

Final

TOR:

7

VGK:

3

Final

NSH:

4

LAK:

1

Final

02/23/2024

BUF:

2

CBJ:

1

Final

WPG:

3

CHI:

2

Final

MIN:

4

EDM:

2

Final

02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

3

ANA:

1

3

07:55

02/26/2024

OTT:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

LAK:

0

EDM:

0

09:30 ET

BOS:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

02/27/2024

WSH:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

MTL:

0

07:00 ET

TBL:

0

PHI:

0

07:00 ET

VGK:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

MIN:

0

08:00 ET

OTT:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

STL:

0

WPG:

0

08:00 ET

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

09:00 ET

DAL:

0

COL:

0

09:30 ET

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

Toronto Maple Leafs Midway Grades

The Toronto Maple Leafs bench celebrating a goal
James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs are now just past the halfway point of the season, so it’s only fitting to take a look at their season so far to spot the good, bad, and everything in between. The Leafs underwent a lot of change this past off-season that started at the top with the General Manager, so there’s lots to go over. I also polled X for these Grades, so you will see which grade I’m giving each Leaf and which grade won the most votes on X. Let’s start from the top down.

Brad Treliving

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 70%

Explanation:

Treliving was thrown into things with the Leafs shortly before the draft, although he wasn’t allowed to be at the draft table until after the Flames made their first pick. Since then, Treliving made moves that brought the Leafs into a new vision, with Reaves, Bertuzzi, Domi, Klingberg, Benoit, and more all joining the team. It’s worth noting here that the second-most-voted grade on X was 60-69%. When looking at the additions the Leafs made, the main additions that have made a positive impact are Benoit and Jones, both signings for under $1M. When looking at the signings above $1M, things aren’t as positive. Klingberg didn’t look good with the Leafs before Treliving was handed a get-out-of-jail-free card with Klingberg out for the season. Ryan Reaves hasn’t looked good either. Bertuzzi and Domi are an interesting case here as they have been decent to pretty good, but the Leafs aren’t getting 100% of what was expected from them. Treliving was able to sign Matthews and Nylander to extensions before they hit free agency, a task that he was unable to complete with Johnny Gaudreau in Calgary. It’s too early to truly see what Treliving’s grade will be over his full tenure as the Leafs GM, but so far, his start is okay, landing at 70% for me.

Sheldon Keefe

X Grade: 60-69%

My Grade: 70%

Explanation:

Sheldon Keefe has been the Leafs head coach since the 2019-2020 season, and in that time, the Leafs’ talented core only made it past the first round once this past season. When new management comes up and shakes up the roster, it’s always a possibility that there are some struggles to start, but at the halfway point of the season, typically, those should be sorted out. I believe that Keefe is a good coach, but ultimately, I am unsure if he matches the vision that Treliving has for the Leafs roster. The Leafs changed their defensive structure as well with a new defensive coach, and that seemed to bring on struggles as well, but ultimately, Keefe is the head coach, and this team has had some struggles. These struggles have led to fans calling for Keefe’s firing and led to the rating of 60-69% on X. I had Keefe slightly higher at 70% as I don’t think he’s the only reason for the Leafs struggles.

Auston Matthews

X Grade: 90-99%

My Grade: 97%

Explanation:

Auston Matthews has been electric this season for the Leafs. He has singlehandedly brought the Leafs back into games they should have lost and is flirting with a 70-goal pace this season. After a down year last season, Matthews has wasted no time, and every area of his game looks better this season. His shot is looking a lot like it did two seasons ago when he potted over 60 goals. This season something that sticks out is also how Matthews is scoring these goals. He’s scored on one-timers, wrist shots, backhands, wraparounds, and more. Ultimately Matthews has been able to find a way to get the puck in the back of the net, which is quite important for a player to be able to do.

John Tavares

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 78%

Explanation:

John Tavares is in the second last year of his deal with the Leafs, and his numbers are finally starting to decline. Tavares has been able to sustain roughly a point-per-game pace in his tenure with the Leafs, but this season, he hasn’t been at the point-per-game mark, and his feet seem to also be slowing down. I wonder if a move to the wing would help Tavares to produce more again, but then the question becomes who plays that second-line center position. Tavares brought the Leafs their first series win in 20 years and has been a great Leaf to this point, but at this point in his career, he’s slowly starting to look less like a second-line center. This lands him at 78% for me.

Mitch Marner

X Grade: 80-89% (70-79% was a close second)

My Grade: 84%

Explanation:

The Mitch Marner we are used to is a dominant one both offensively and defensively, but this season it seems like there has been more struggle on both sides of things. It seems as if Marner has been making more defensive mistakes than normal, and the offense, at least for the first 30 games, didn’t seem like it was clicking. With that said, Marner has still been averaging a pace of over 90 points in a down year and has started to pick things up as of late. Marner is still a very highly skilled winger and will look to rebound in the second half of the year. I could very well see Marner ending the season with a grade of over 90% and possibly hitting 100 points for the first time in his career.

William Nylander

X Grade: 90-99%

My Grade: 96%

Explanation:

Nylander has been having a career year with the Leafs and it was in a contract year. The Leafs ended up electing to sign the Swedish star to an 8-year contract extension as a result. Nylander has been having a phenomenal season with the Leafs, especially when compared to his current cap hit. He might be given more scrutiny under his new contract, but currently, he is playing well above his contract cap hit. Nylander has shown a few signs of slowing down though, and slowed down in the second half of last season, so it will be important for him to keep pushing through and finding a way to create offense through the full 82-game schedule.

Tyler Bertuzzi

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 78%

Explanation:

Tyler Bertuzzi was an addition in the off-season that many of those who follow the Leafs were excited about. Bertuzzi has a gritty game, with offensive and playmaking ability. Well, at over halfway through the season, the offensive results haven’t shown up nearly as much as expected. Bertuzzi has played well defensively, but the Leafs need more offense from him in the second half of the season and leading into the playoffs for his contract to have been worth it.

Max Domi

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 82%

Explanation:

Max Domi was brought into Toronto this past off-season as well, and he’s living a dream come true. Many know his father, Tie, previously played for the Leafs and was quite popular. Domi has some snarl in his game and offensive skill as well, but this often comes at the cost of defense. As a third-line center and being paid as a third-line center, he’s been great, and his secondary scoring should come in handy down the stretch.

David Kämpf

X Grade: 60-69%

My Grade: 61%

Explanation:

I’m sure that if I had a 50-59% for Kämpf, it would have received a good portion of votes, but it’s clear that fans haven’t been fans generally of Kämpf’s season with the Leafs to this point. Kämpf has been pegged as the Leafs shutdown center since he joined Toronto and has done a solid job in that role, playing mostly third-line and penalty-killing minutes. Now this season, Kämpf has been in a fourth-line center role while being paid like a third-line center. He’s probably had the most amount of different linemates, as it seems like the fourth line hasn’t clicked this season. Some of this can be blamed on Kämpf’s down year, while some of it can also be blamed on teammates and defensive structures. I expect more from Kämpf in the second half of the year. He’s not looked good, but he hasn’t looked terrible.

Calle Järnkrok

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 78%

Explanation:

Calle Järnkrok is a versatile forward who can pitch in offensively while being relatively sound defensively as well. With Alex Kerfoot no longer a member of the Leafs, Järnkrok has taken the role of Swiss Army Knife. Järnkrok can be used on any line and not look out of place. Järnkrok isn’t having quite as good of a season as last year, but he also has fewer minutes too. Overall, Järnkrok is playing at or slightly above his current contract value.

Ryan Reaves

X Grade: 50-59%

My Grade: 50%

Explanation:

50% is the lowest grade that I’m giving for players, but unfortunately, that will be the grade for Reaves. The Reaves signing in Toronto hasn’t worked to this point, and there aren’t signs of that changing any time soon. Regardless of the intangibles he may bring off the ice, he unfortunately isn’t one of the Leafs top 12 forward options. Reaves started the season with a couple of fights, which excited fans, but since then has been quiet up until sustaining his injury. Reaves has been on the ice for many more goals against than he has goals for, and that makes it hard to win games.

Matthew Knies

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 80%

Explanation:

The Arizona-born Knies has been an exciting prospect for the Leafs and is in his first full rookie season with the Leafs. Ultimately, his grade depends on your expectations of him going into the season. Knies has been relatively good, and he is learning his way in the NHL. He’s not experienced in the league yet, so there have been mistakes made, but for a rookie, that is expected. Knies projects to be an effective power forward for the Leafs.

Pontus Holmberg

X Grade: 80-89%

My Grade: 83%

Explanation:

Pontus Holmberg was a pleasant surprise last season, and his composed play, mixed with his high hockey IQ, led to some quality games. Holmberg found himself in the minors after the trade deadline and started this season in the minors too. Since being called up to the Leafs this season, Holmberg has improved almost every game. He started by playing a solid defensive game but was struggling to find offense; however, as of late, the offense has started to come, with Holmberg putting up the best goal of his career and maybe the best Leafs goal of the season. Holmberg is at the age where he needs to break into the NHL, so I’m expecting him to compete hard in this second half of the season.

Nick Robertson

X Grade: 60-69% and 70-79% (tied)

My Grade: 82%

Explanation:

Nick Robertson is a hard-working forward who has a wicked shot. Robertson has struggled with consistency in the NHL, but he’s still producing at a high rate compared to his ice time. Robertson should be in the lineup each night, but to find a spot for the rest of the season, he will need to ensure he doesn’t take any shifts off.

Noah Gregor

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 74%

Explanation:

Noah Gregor has been a bit hard for me to judge this season. There are times when he’s noticeable on the ice, especially for his speed, but then there are times when his line gets hemmed into their zone, which loses momentum and sometimes even goals against. Gregor has found his time on the penalty kill also decreasing as of late. Gregor will need to keep pushing through this second half of the season as depth players fight for a spot in the lineup.

Bobby McMann

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 76%

Explanation:

Bobby McMann has had a long and unexpected journey to the NHL but now is in his second season with the Leafs. Last season was limited due to injuries, and this season, he started in the Marlies, but he’s looked decent in fourth-line minutes with the Leafs. I ultimately think he has a ways to go to earn a spot in a playoff lineup, but McMann has looked determined and has been working hard. It’s hard not to root for McMann.

Morgan Rielly

X Grade: 90-99%

My Grade: 95%

Explanation:

After a solid playoff performance, Rielly came into the season hot and has looked great so far. It seems like Rielly’s game has also majorly improved defensively, all while playing mainly with an aging TJ Brodie. Rielly is looking like a top-pairing defenseman and will look to keep the momentum going throughout the rest of the season.

TJ Brodie

X Grade: 60-69%

My Grade: 70%

Explanation:

TJ Brodie has shown signs of aging this season after 4 seasons of solid defensive play with the Leafs. It’s quite odd how fast this aging curve has seemed to hit Brodie, but he’s also had some personal things going on this season as well. Brodie has seemingly become the new fans’ whipping boy after Holl left in free agency. I don’t think Brodie has looked good in a top pairing role this season, but I don’t think he’s as bad as some are making him out to be. I’d like to see Brodie play a lesser role for the second half of the season.

Jake McCabe

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 84%

Explanation:

Jake McCabe had a slow start to the season but has been picking it up as of late. It seems like McCabe started finding his game with the Leafs when he was switched to the right side of the lineup. If McCabe continues this throughout the rest of the season, it will help the Leafs tremendously, as they are already low on options for the right side, and it gives the Leafs more flexibility.

Timothy Liljegren

X Grade: 80-89%

My Grade: 85%

Explanation:

Timothy Liljegren is the only right-handed shot constant (Timmins limited usage, Klingberg out) in the Leafs lineup and is a player many are hoping to find his role with the Leafs this season. Liljegren has a lot of defensive skill and some offensive upside. He can break the puck out of the zone and will look to continue developing into a two-way defenseman as he tries to establish himself further in the NHL.

Conor Timmins

X Grade: 60-69%

My Grade: 62%

Explanation:

Conor Timmins was slated to be the 7th defenseman to start the season, and with Klingberg injured, it was expected Timmins would have a more regular lineup spot, but due to some defensive mistakes and poor coverage, he has spent more time in the press box than he has on the ice. Timmins has offensive skills, but that can come at the cost of defense. For Timmins to be useful in the lineup, he doesn’t have to be a stud defensively, but he will surely have to minimize the defensive mistakes he makes. Timmins is the 7th defenseman for the Leafs currently and will need a solid stretch of play to move up the depth chart.

Mark Giordano

X Grade: 60-69%

My Grade: 66%

Explanation:

Mark Giordano is still playing hockey at 40 years old. He still competes hard and isn’t afraid to get in the shooting lane, which is a big part of why he holds the NHL record for most blocked shots. Giordano has shown signs of aging though, and doesn’t look so much like an everyday NHL player anymore. Giordano still has depth value, but ultimately may be in his last season of hockey in the NHL. Let’s hope he can finish the year out strong.

Simon Benoit

X Grade: 90-99%

My Grade: 91%

Explanation:

Simon Benoit, or “Benny,” has been a fan favourite since entering the Leafs lineup. Benoit did not look good in the pre-season, which worried many, but when he got his shot during the regular season, he took it and ran with it, passing multiple players on the depth chart. Benoit has looked like an effective NHL player and seemingly gives a lot of what the Leafs need: defensive skill, hitting, clearing the crease, among other things. The high grades are relative to his role, expectations, and contract. He has become a more than fine-depth defensive option and looks like he should be playing in a playoff lineup.

William Lagesson

X Grade: 70-79%

My Grade: 73%

Explanation:

William Lagesson had a solid start with the Leafs while the team was down options due to injuries. Lagesson started to look less effective, though, while Benoit looked more effective, and that ended up with Benoit winning the job over Lagesson. Lagesson gets a bit higher of a grade as he played tough minutes and helped the Leafs through a tough stretch, but ultimately I doubt he will see many more games with the Leafs this season unless injuries arise.

Ilya Samsonov

X Grade: 50-59%

My Grade: 58%

Explanation:

Ilya Samsonov started the season as the projected starter for the Leafs, and by the time it hit the new year, he was put on waivers and passed through. Ultimately it was a terrible start for Samsonov this season, and the Leafs would have had more points had he showed up. Now, at the time of publication of this article, he has started to redeem himself, and he will look to continue doing that through to the end of the season. Samsonov has the potential to be the most improved player grades by the end of the season, as I don’t believe he forgot how to play goalie, but has been affected by the mental toughness of playing goalie.

Martin Jones

X Grade: 90-99%

My Grade: 85%

Explanation:

Martin Jones came up and helped the Leafs through a rough stretch where Woll was injured, and Samsonov wasn’t performing. It seems as of late that the extra starts are wearing him down, though, as his numbers have started to fall. Note that from the time the poll was taken to the time of this being written and published Jones has had a few weaker starts, which likely would have brought the X votes down to the 80-89% tier.

Joseph Woll

X Grade: 90-99%

My Grade: 91%

Explanation:

In his first full season with the Leafs, Joseph Woll has been composed and has looked like a starter in the NHL. He’s made some spectacular saves and ultimately won the starting job with the Leafs before going down to injury. Having Woll come in at under $1M makes it even sweeter as the Leafs need cheap players who can also contribute. Woll is NHL-ready and is pushing the narrative that he’s also NHL starter-ready, as long as he can stay healthy.

If you made it to the end of this article, thank you so much for reading the whole article. This took hours to make, so I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ITRnathanbondy.

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