Maple Leafs 2022-23 Regular Season About Nothing

The Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs. That’s all that matters; other than that, the 2022-23 season will be about nothing. So, see you on April 13, 2023, which is the last game of a rather monotonous 82 games. It’s a distant memory of when those 82 games meant something. Each point could be the difference between a berth in the postseason or an early locker cleanout. Maybe the fanbase is spoiled, maybe not with the last playoff win in 2004 and the last Stanley Cup in 1967. The only thing that matters now is the playoffs, and the 16 wins this team should be putting together after the regular season ends.

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
Sheldon Keefe, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s a famous line from one of the best sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld’s episode 3 of season 4, when George Costanza announces to NBC executives that “the show is about nothing.” This must be how the Toronto marketing department feels as it tries to devise ways to pitch the regular season. Thanks to a considerable fall-off between the top and bottom teams in the Atlantic Division, the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs. You heard it here! This team could only miss the postseason if there were an epic collapse or some of the cellar dwellers showed drastic improvement. Of course, both scenarios could happen, but the odds do not favour that outcome. So, what else matters in this regular season? How will the team sell it?

Related: Maple Leafs Who Must Be Traded – Now

Last year the line was changing the narrative. Well, that flopped. Maybe it could be: trying to change the narrative – again. Another idea: at first, if you don’t succeed try, try, try, try again. A few things will draw fans in to watch the regular season.

Auston Matthews is the Show

He has been on the cover of the EA Sports NHL franchise twice for a reason. Auston Matthews is the show, and every night there is a chance he will do something special, like score four goals, put those magic hands to work for a goal in close or show that insane quick release to the top shelf. Besides that, the back-to-back Maurice Rocket Richard winner, the Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award winner from the 2021-22 season continues to re-write the Maple Leafs’ record book with goals and points.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs EA Sports NHL 22
Auston Matthews cover of EA Sports NHL 22 (Image courtesy of EA)

Now add into the mix that he only has two more seasons under contract with Toronto, and this is the last season that Matthews’ doesn’t have a no-movement clause. Not that he would or should be traded, but things will start to get a little nervous for the front office as the American racks up the points and trophies.

Maple Leafs’ Other Storylines

Besides putting Matthews on every billboard and advertisement they can find, Toronto can flash around some of the other faces in the multi-millionaires club. Of course, this includes the other members of the core four and Morgan Rielly. But these guys have not had anything new to say in years. They have used up all of their material after the 2020-21 disaster against the Montreal Canadiens. Will we really have to hear the repetitive lines about how they are a similar club to the Tampa Bay Lightning before they broke through?

Poor Sheldon Keefe, who talks to the media almost daily for five to ten minutes, will have to regurgitate all the same stuff from last season. Due to a diehard fanbase, there will still be 18,000 plus fans in the rink for every home game and a large blue and white presence when the Maple Leafs are on the road. The ratings will continue to be high for Toronto games on Saturday nights, keeping the broadcaster and the sponsors happy. But now more than ever, the regular season means nothing without playoff success.

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