Absolutely, the Leafs Madness: Recency Bias Region

So, the first region is down, and we’re on to the region that probably has the most interest attached to it. At the end of all this you might not care about who the greatest Leaf is, but you might care more strongly about who the greatest Leaf in recent history is. Or you might not care about any of this at all. That’s cool. Just keep reading the site anyway.

The Results so far…

Recency Bias Region:

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#1 Auston Matthews vs. #16 Clarke MacArthur

Who didn’t love Mac ‘n the USSR? Who doesn’t love a buy low player that becomes a crucial part of your top six? Clarke MacArthur was a lot of fun, but his fate is this bracket is pretty clear.

Auston Matthews can already be argued as the most talented Leafs player ever. But is he the greatest Leaf? The favourite Leaf? We’ll see, but it’s not going to be MacArthur that makes us question his standing.


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#8 Nazem Kadri vs. #9 James van Riemsdyk

Two recently departed Leafs faceoff against each other, and we can see if we miss Kadri’s pestiness and skill more than JVR’s skill and skill.


#5 John Tavares vs. #12 Joffrey Lupul

Tavares might still be relatively new, but his captaincy and local boy status are going to carry a lot of weight in this tournament. That being said, he’s ranked 5th in this region and not 2nd because not everyone is loving the contract in year two, and thought we’d see more points.

As for Lupul, well, he was a salary dump who was incredibly serviceable when healthy. He was a good personality on the team and if injuries weren’t a big part of his life, he’d be even more popular with Leafs fans than he already is.

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#4 William Nylander vs #13 Tyler Bozak

A lot of people hold a grudge against William Nylander for last season and the length contract negotiations that preceded it. A lot of people expected Bozak to just be Kessel’s set up guy and were proven wrong. Neither of these players is universally loved in Leafs land, and this matchup might be closer than a 4 vs. 13 should be.

#6 Phil Kessel vs. #11 Zach Hyman

Kessel coming in at #6 probably speaks to the strength of naming in this region, or possibly how much the Leafs have upgraded in the past few years.

As for Zach Hyman, well, he #playshockeytherightway and #nevertakesanightoff. This beloved children’s author might challenge Phil based on recency and Steve Simmons takes.

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#3 Mitch Marner vs. #14 Mikhail Grabovski

I love Grabbo. I wish we could see more of Grabbo in this bracket, but sadly it’s not meant to be. It will take a colossal upset to knock off one of Toronto’s favourite sons and the official spokesperson for [insert any brand name here].


#7 Freddie Andersen vs. #10 James Reimer

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A goaltending duel. Fun.

Andersen has a lot of recently bad on resume, but a lot of really good hockey before that. Reimer had a really good shortened season, and six games and two periods worth of solid playoff hockey.

#2 Morgan Rielly vs. #15 Dion Phaneuf

We’ll follow up the goaltending duel with a defensive duel. I have to start by saying I was surprised to see Rielly clock in ahead of Marner, Nylander, and Tavares for number of submissions. Probably something to be said about how desperate this team is for a decent blueline.

Phaneuf is a former captain, and the trade to acquire him was one of the best days on during some pretty dark years. We’ll always have that.

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I guess what these two players have in common is that it seemed a reasonable right side partner could never be found for either one of them.


We’ll be back with the results tomorrow, and we’ll finish up with the final two regions first round matchups.