With the border closed, the Toronto Maple Leafs are stuck in Canada and forced to face only Canadian based teams.
The Maple Leafs may actually benefit from this as they won’t have to face teams like the Boston Bruins who they tend to have trouble beating or the reigning champs in the Tampa Bay Lightning who many still view as the best team in the league.
Which Canadian team should worry the Maple Leafs?
The Leafs most bitter rivals in the Habs have been quite a mediocre team in the past few seasons. While they have arguably the most decorated goalie of this era in Carey Price, they have a mediocre defensive unit and goal scoring has been a problem for this team. They did address their goal scoring issues by adding Tyler Toffoli but one player simply won’t change everything.
The Senators are aiming to be competitive this season after years of being in the bottom of the standings. They made some notable additions to improve their roster and have a young team but they are still a few pieces away from being a true contender.
Like the Senators, the Canucks are loaded of young talent. Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and it doesn’t stop there. They did reach the semi-finals in the playoffs but their line combinations, especially the bottom six forward group leaves lots to be desired.
The Flames have a lethal combination of Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm up front while 37-year-old defenseman Mark Giordano can still produce at a high level. They also have a strong goaltending tandem of Jacob Markstrom and David Rittich. Aside from Giordano though, the Flames seem thin on the blue line.
Everyone knows who the Oilers best players are: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Those two are the most powerful duo in the league and are both capable of putting up 100 points each over a full season. Aside from those two though, the Oilers remain shaky and have tons of question marks surrounding other players.
While the Jets possess some intriguing talent with the likes of Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler and others, they don’t have a true top defenseman and one injury to Connor Hellebuyck makes this team prone to giving up a lot of goals.
So, which team is it that the Toronto Maple Leafs should worry the most about? I would say it’s the Flames. They have great forwards, a top defenseman and a great goaltending duo. But that being said, the Leafs shouldn’t take any team lightly in the all Canadian division.