As the NHL walks away from the All-Star break, the Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 55 points. While sitting on the playoff fence seems to familiar territory for Leafs fans over the past years, there are reasons to be optimistic.
Firstly, the 55 points amassed by the Leafs so far are already way ahead of the 43 that the 2010-11 Leafs had by the All-Star break last year.
But more importantly, the Maple Leafs are a second-half team.
At the All-Star break last year, the Leafs had a record of 19-25-5. The rest of the season they were 18-9-6.
However, the Leafs were only able to have that great second half because of the emergence of certain players down the stretch.
If the Leafs want to repeat their previous second-half success, players are going to need to step up.
Here are the five that need to step up the most: