5 Things the Toronto Maple Leafs Must Do to Win Lord Stanley's Cup
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently on a four-game losing streak and have fallen out of the top eight in the Eastern Conference.
Their next contest comes on Tuesday, when they will face off against the Florida Panthers, a team who beat the Maple Leafs in both meetings this season.
Losing eight out of their last nine, the Maple Leafs are in a drought that is occurring during the wrong part of the season.
With 20 games remaining in the regular season, here is a list of five things the Maple Leafs need to do in order to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.
Keep Up the Scoring
Although the Maple Leafs are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs, the team is in the top 10 in the league in goals per game.
The Maple Leafs are eighth overall in scoring an average of 2.9 goals per game.
Right Winger Phil Kessel has a lot to do with that. Kessel currently sits sixth overall with 65 points on the season, and is third overall in goals with 31.
Left Winger Joffrey Lupul is the Maple Leafs' second-leading scorer, gathering 62 points with 23 goals and 39 assists.
The Maple Leafs have scored three or more goals in 33 games this season, including 10 games with at least five goals.
The Maple Leafs have only scored three goals in three of their last nine contests, with eight of them being losses.
The Maple Leafs need to have a steady up-tempo offense if they plan on turning their season around.
Phil Kessel has been an offensive juggernaut this season.
As stated in the previous slide, Kessel has 65 points on the season, 31 of them being goals and the other 34 being assists.
WIth five years of experience and being only 24 years old, Kessel remains one of the most beneficial young superstars in the league.
Kessel has had four multi-goal games this season, including one hat trick during the second game of the season.
If the Maple Leafs plan on going deep into the postseason, Kessel will be a big part of it.
The Maple Leafs have had the majority of their goaltending coming from Jonas Gustavsson and James Reimer.
Gustavsson has played in 33 games this season, with 16 wins and 12 losses. He possesses a .905 save percentage and a 2.89 goals against average.
Reimer has played 27 games thus far, winning 11 and losing 10. Reimer has a 2.99 goals against average and a save percentage of .903.
The Maple Leafs have held their opponents to two or fewer goals in 19 games this season, including six shutouts.
Although these statistics are not terrible, the Maple Leafs' goaltenders will have to step up their games in order to better the team's chances for a winning season.
Toronto's defense currently ranks 28th overall in goals against average, giving up three goals per game. The Leafs' penalty kill is ranked 29th in the league, at 76.8 percent.
The Maple Leafs have allowed three or more goals in 43 games this season, and in 13 of those games, the Leafs have allowed five or more goals.
Like any team, defense is a major part of winning. The Maple Leafs currently possess one of the league's worst defenses.
In order for the Maple Leafs to make a run for the playoffs, they are going to have to tighten up on the defensive side of the ice.
Losing eight out of nine games is tough for any team, no matter what sport they compete in.
Going on losing streaks brings a depressed, lackluster feeling to a locker room. In order for a team to compete at their highest level, they need to have confidence.
Winning is a great way to gain confidence.
The Maple Leafs need to get out of their drought and start winning games. The Leafs obviously need to play well during the last stretch of the season, considering they are currently out of the playoff race.
While only being a few points from a playoff spot, the Maple Leafs have a great chance at reaching the playoffs in the imperfect Eastern Conference.
The Leafs already contain an explosive offense and one of the most potent players in the game, but if the Leafs can tighten up on defense and gain a little momentum by winning games, the Leafs could be a tough playoff opponent for any of their competitors.