Rais­ing a good point about the Leafs of­fence

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

The Maple Leafs had five scor­ers with more than 60 points last sea­son, in­clud­ing three trend-set­ting rook­ies. How un­usual is that in to­day’s NHL?

Well, put it this way: No other team in the league has that many.

Seven teams had no play­ers with 60plus points in 2016-17. Ten NHL teams had one player with 60 points. Ten more teams had two. Only Pitts­burgh with three and Win­nipeg with four were even close to the Leafs in terms of scor­ing depth.

The 60-plus sea­son for Aus­ton Matthews, Mitch Marner and Wil­liam Ny­lan­der, The Young Three, hap­pened to be the first time since 1981 that three rook­ies on any team man­aged to hit the 60-point mark or above. And con­sider this, when the Que­bec Nordiques trio of Peter Stastny, An­ton Stastny and Dale Hunter hit that num­ber 37 years ago, they did it in an NHL in which there 97 dif­fer­ent play­ers scored 60 or more points. And they did with Stastny hav­ing al­ready been an in­ter­na­tional player of sig­nif­i­cance.

Last year, just 42 play­ers in the NHL hit the 60-or-above point. The Leafs’ sixth lead­ing point-get­ter, Tyler Bozak, would have led four teams — Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and Van­cou­ver — in scor­ing with 55 points.

Now you add Pa­trick Mar­leau to that mix: The op­ti­mism about the Leafs abil­ity to score is more than war­ranted.

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