The Toronto Maple Leafs moved to 5-1-0 on the season after a 4-2 road win against the Washington Capitals, but Lars Eller isn’t buying the hype on Auston Matthews and company.
“We were just playing against Crosby and Malkin, so everything kind of drops off from there. It’s not that special, to be honest,” Eller said, via Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. “It’s a good team, like a lot of others. They’ll probably be a playoff team, I would think.”
Matthews leads the NHL in goals (10), and points (14). Morgan Rielly comes in at second in league scoring with 12 points, while John Tavares (10), and Mitch Marner (10), are tied for third.
The Maple Leafs have lived up to the early season hype, as the Matthews-Tavares duo continues to take the NHL by storm. Yes, there are 76 games left for Toronto in the regular season, but this group has shown it’s going to be increasingly difficult to stop this powerhouse.
The Leafs have beaten a handful of quality teams, too. Saturday marked their fourth consecutive road win; they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-6 in overtime last Sunday and followed it up with a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.
Toronto’s defense hasn’t been great, however, as their 22 goals against are second-most in the NHL. That being said, it should be noted that they’ve played more games (six), than every other team, with the exceptions of the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights.
The Maple Leafs have made it obvious that they’re the best team in the NHL through the first two weeks. But with great performances come great pressure, and the goal now is for them to sustain this all the way throughout the 2018-19 season. That’s easier said than done, though.