The current iteration of the Toronto Maple Leafs has become so predictable that it begs the question of whether hockey is scripted and we’ve been stuck watching reruns for the past five or so years. I know I’m not the only one that has made a sizable chunk of change betting against my favourite team in the playoffs the past three years, as if daring the hockey gods to decide between letting the Leafs win a round or making me a small fortune at the cost of heartbreak.
With a new season underway, anyone who has been closely watching the Leafs for long enough has already taken a peek at the schedule and figured out how several games on it will end. With that in mind, here are some of the most predictable games Toronto will be playing this year, ones that you can skip out on watching since we already know that once again, history is set to repeat itself.
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October 12 – Toronto @ Montreal
If there’s one thing the Leafs love doing more than falling short of expectations, it’s building up the hope of its fanbase before doing so. With a season opener against their oldest rivals, in Montreal the Leafs set the stage for a dominant win that will have the fanbase planning a parade before it all comes crashing down.
Prediction: 5-1 Leafs
October 15 – Toronto vs Ottawa
After a few key signings and trades, the hockey world spent the summer listening to Senators fans brag about how good their team is going to be this year. While the defense and bottom six still have plenty of question marks, they’ve seemed to perfectly set up the return of the Battle of Ontario with a hard fought come from behind win that will cause analysts to spend the weekend asking if Ottawa is better than Toronto.
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Prediction: 3-2 Senators OT win after trailing 2-0
December 3 – Toronto @ Tampa Bay
A rematch of last year’s first round playoff series. A series where Toronto looked to be the better team for most of it, and ended up coming as painfully short as a team could possibly finish without the involvement of a triple overtime. It would both be a fine act of revenge, and simultaneously a painful reminder of what could have been if Toronto beats Tampa Bay in their first rematch.
Prediction: 4-2 Leafs
December 22 – Toronto vs Philadelphia
The last game before the Christmas break is a matchup against one of the league’s worst teams? The only plausible solution here is a terrible loss that will bring us a week of coverage about whether Toronto needs to be sellers at the deadline.
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Prediction: 6-1 Flyers
December 31 – Toronto @ Colorado
Similar to the Tampa Bay game, it would be a double-edged sword for Toronto to beat Colorado in their first matchup of the season as it shows that they can compete with the league’s best teams, while also serving as a bitter reminder of what could have been last playoffs.
Prediction: 4-3 Leafs
March 1 – Toronto @ Edmonton
We all already have this circled on our calendar and know exactly what’s going to happen right? Do I even need to say it?
Prediction: 3-0 Oilers, Jack Campbell shutout