Leafs looking for their offence
The Maple Leafs are playing in Detroit at the moment, a tough test for a team that has lost six in a row coming in, and in the early going it's 1-0 for the Red Wings.
There's no single reason for Toronto's mini-slump — but one thing that's been hard to miss is just how much difficultly Paul Maurice's troops have had scoring goals. Back before the season started, 'where would the offence come from?' was the question I'd posed to Leafs Nation, along with a list of projected goal tallies for all of Toronto's shooters.
Early on this year, scoring wasn't a problem — Toronto was, in fact, one of the NHL's top scoring teams — but the team's managed only eight goals during its recent slide. And while it's only been six miserable games, I find myself going back to that same old question, wondering who's going to be able to kick start this team's offence.
Comparing the two lists — my original predicted tally from the preseason and the on-pace totals I calculated today at Globe on Hockey — the biggest boost has come from Darcy Tucker, who is on pace for 26 more goals than I'd given him. Otherwise, it's slim pickings in the 'over performing' category.
I'd predicted just 231 goals for the Leafs this season, which would almost definitely be a below-average total, and prior to tonight's game, the team was on pace for 251 (a number that's been dropping steadily the past two weeks). Where they eventually slot in, in my opinion, will determine whether there's a return to the playoffs in their future — and, at the moment, things don't look promising.