This thread has really dried up lately, so I'll add.
I have this feeling that the Leafs are going to finish in no Man's Land (as in 17th place) giving them a garbage draft pick and no playoffs.
I have no sympathy for the Bruins.
Also, I'm wondering if Matthews will emerge as a leader. For some reason I see Rielly wearing the "C" and Matthews wearing an "A".
And is me or can Auston Matthews not lift the puck off the ice on his shots?
Mitch Marner should be playing with Matthews, just imagine the points.
While I think Matthews and Marner would be a good combination in the future I don't think it would work right now at all. With them on 2 different lines the Leafs have 2 lines that are very real offensive threats. Something they haven't had for over 10 years.
As for Matthew's shots I think he just has a high preference for aiming his shots for the corners just above the pads. It is a very sound tactic as most goalies are holding their gloves and blocker up rather than down against the pads. That said most of his pretty goals have been top of the net shots.
I don't know the locker room feel of the Leafs (something Babcock can see all too well being the coach) but I can easily see Matthews getting the C within 2 years.
I still don't think the Canadiens actually have improved much at all from last season (besides Price being back) and may actually be a worse team than last year. That may sound ridiculous but even when they weren't into it late last season they weren't getting trounced like they have at least 3 times this season. Twice with Price in net. The team defensively at times just gets soft and when it gets bad it gets really bad. I don't think I can recall a top team being so bad when they don't play well. Thankfully for them that doesn't happen too often.
I think Carolina looks to be the dark horse team that can be the surprise team in the East. They have been very stingy defensively and they have been creating chances offensively up to this point. The only real problem is that they are not finishing. If they do start scoring they will actually become a rather dangerous team.