Things are Finally Looking Up in Toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs were the worst team in the NHL last season, but things are (finally) beginning to look up at the Big Smoke.
Toronto has been in a clear reconstruct since Brendan Shanahan took over the reins as team president in 2014, and Shanny has made some great strides in an effort to make the Leafs related again.
Bringing in Mike Babcock as trainer has already started to pay dividends, along with an influx of young talent highlighted by 2016 No. 1 overall choice Auston Matthews has fans from the GTA eager for the first time in quite some time.
For a franchise that spent the better 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 have a dig at your Leafs fan buddy, just mention that the calendar year 1967. They’ll know what you’re referring to. By the time the 2016-17 NHL season wraps up, it will be 50 years since the Stanley Cup arrived to Toronto. The Leafs are advancing, but do not bank on that trend changing this season.
Eastern Conference +2500
Toronto sits tied with the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators for the 11th-worst Opportunities 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 respect over the prior couple of decades, so at least it shows oddsmakers have started to show them some respect.
Atlantic Division +1500
Tampa Bay (+130), Florida (+400), Boston (+650), Detroit (+650), Montreal (+700) and Buffalo (+1500) are deservedly ranked ahead of the Buds in divisional futures. Provincial rival Ottawa sits tied with the Maple Leafs in +1500. That seems pretty reasonable to me.
Point total OVER/UNDER 81.5
Considering that the NHL’s new point system has been released in 2005, Toronto has eclipsed 81 points twice. On the other hand, the Leafs have gone over that number only once in the previous four campaigns. In 2014-15 they wound up with a pitiful 68 points, simply to put up 69 final year.
To view 81.5 on the plank is a bit surprising, but it goes to show that this team is moving in the ideal direction. I am not convinced enough to see that much progress just yet, nevertheless, so I would take the UNDER in this scenario.

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