Things are Finally Looking Up in Toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs were the worst team in the NHL last season, but matters are (finally) starting to look up at the Big Smoke.
Toronto has been in a clear rebuild since Brendan Shanahan took over the reins as club president in 2014, and Shanny has made some great strides in a bid to generate the Leafs relevant again.
Launched in Mike Babcock as coach has already started to pay dividends, along with an influx of young talent emphasized by 2016 No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews has enthusiasts in the GTA excited for the first time in quite some time.
For a franchise that spent the greater part of a decade treading water as a result of questionable leading office decisions, that means something. Here’s a look at the Maple Leafs‘ chances in the upcoming season, courtesy of BetOnline.
Stanley Cup +5000
If you ever wish to get a dig at your Leafs fan friend, just mention the year 1967. They’ll know what you are talking about. By the time the 2016-17 NHL season wraps up, it is going to be 50 years since the Stanley Cup arrived to Toronto. The Leafs are advancing, but don’t bank on that trend changing this season.
Eastern Conference +2500
Toronto sits connected with the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators for its 11th-worst chances to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup final, before Buffalo (+2800), Carolina (+3300) and Columbus (+3300).
The Leafs have been at the bottom of the barrel in this regard within the previous couple of decades, so at least it shows oddsmakers are starting to show them some respect.
Atlantic Division +1500
Tampa Bay (+130), Florida (+400), Boston (+650), Detroit (+650), Montreal (+700) and Buffalo (+1500) are deservedly rated ahead of the Buds in divisional futures. Provincial rival Ottawa sits tied together with the Maple Leafs at +1500. That sounds pretty fair to me.
Point total OVER/UNDER 81.5
Considering that the NHL’s new point system was introduced in 2005, Toronto has eclipsed 81 points twice. On the other hand, the Leafs have gone above that number just once in the past four campaigns. In 2014-15 they ended up using a pitiful 68 points, simply to put up 69 final year.
To see 81.5 on the plank is a bit surprising, but it goes to show that this group is moving in the ideal direction. I am not convinced enough to see much progress just yet, nevertheless, so I would take the UNDER in this scenario.

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