Earlier today, our boy Ryan “you” Fancey “huh” rolled into the TLN slack and dropped this pot of gold on us.
The Buds currently have the league’s highest odds to win the Stanley Cup! Does that mean they actually the best team in the league? No, it doesn’t. That isn’t how oddsmakers work. This is just where experts are putting their money, so what it really represents is that, well, people are betting on the Leafs.
So that brings up to this week’s Friday roundtable question. Are the Leafs #Actually the top Stanley Cup contender that the oddsmakers are suggesting?
Ryan “r/leafs” Hobart
The thing about these odds are that it’s based on two things: current standing, and public perception. The Leafs stand atop the league right now, which is a heavy influence. And I would say that public perception of the Leafs is very positive right now. I’m not sure I would say the Leafs are the best team to bet on to win the Cup. But then again, who the heck would I bet on? I don’t think there’s a team who I can isolate with really strong chances at a Cup berth. So, then, is it reasonable for the Leafs to be the team with the best odds? I would say so. But I think the odds themselves are too high. The Leafs are one of the reasonable choices for Cup favourites – legitimate contenders. But the choices are slim and the field is pretty open.
Scott “College Boy” Maxwell
Are the Leafs cup contenders? Yes. Are they the team to beat, like these odds suggest? Hell no. A lot of this is from a hot start and a lot of people betting on them. But, they could certainly contend. So far, no one in the league has stepped up as a true contender, so it’s wide open. While the Leafs defence is questionable, they have been driving play well, and their goaltending has been subpar but will probably improve. They certainly aren’t the best team this year, but they have a good chance at contending, at least at the beginning of the season
I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed so far is the Leafs have taken a bit of an unconventional approach to the NHL. Should Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly be your two most talented defencemen? Probably not.
Are the Leafs going to stick with what they’ve got? It looks like it, at least for now. Would I run things a little differently Yeah, probably. Are they still going to score boatloads of goals? Yeah, probably as well, and even though you can’t score six every night, well, uh, the Leafs can do that a lot.
There’s bonafide issues with this team’s defensive coverage and personnel, but until the team stops scoring, there’s really only a few offences in the league that can really draw a reasonable comparison to the Leafs, and for that reason, I’d say they’re definitely among the league’s top contenders.
The Leafs are playing well. The Leafs have good players. The Leafs are winning. I’m gonna live in the now and focus on today and what happens in the spring is gravy.