SPORTS

Leafs' winning streak: 4 things to know

12/17/2014 03:49 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been on fire lately, winning six games in a row and defeating the league-leading Anaheim Ducks by a 6-2 margin Tuesday. That victory is even sweeter considering it ended the Ducks' seven game winning streak.

The recent success has many people in Leafs Nation looking like this:

Here are four things you should know about the Leafs' winning streak.

Quick turnaround

The Leafs' impressive run has come after a 6-2 loss to the Sabres, who were then the worst team in the league, followed by a 9-2 defeat to the Nashville Predators at the Air Canada Centre.

At that point, people were calling for coach Randy Carlyle's head and questions about the team were numerous. There was even a t-shirt you could buy featuring a hashtag being used on Twitter, #FireCarlyle.

Now many of those same people who were calling for Carlyle's job are eating their words. Not surprising considering since that 9-2 loss to the Predators the team has gone 10-1-1, a record no one could complain about.

Tough at home

The Leafs are the best team in the NHL on home ice, going 14-7-0 this season. Since the turnaround began, the Leafs have won nine of 10 home games, with their only loss in Toronto coming against the Devils on Dec. 4.

Over that same stretch of home games, they have outscored their opponents 46-22.

A great example of Toronto's goal-scoring prowess was Phil Kessel's beautiful wrist shot Tuesday to make it 5-2 against the Ducks.

Over 21 home games this season the Leafs have 76 goals. Toronto scored 30 goals during its first 11 home games, compared to the 46 it has scored over 10 home games since the defeat to Nashville last month.

The Leafs now have the second-highest number of goals in the NHL with 107 over 31 games. The Tampa Bay Lightning are first with 109 goals, but they've played two more games than Toronto.

History in the making?

While six in a row is impressive, it's not the best Toronto has ever done. The Leafs' longest winning streak came back in 1993, when between Oct. 7 and Oct. 28 they won 10 in a row.

The Leafs have now won five in a row at home, and if they can win their next four they could match the team's longest winning streak in Toronto. The team won nine in a row at home between Nov. 11 and Dec. 26, 1953. To match that, the Leafs will have to get by the Flyers on Dec. 20, the Capitals Jan. 7, the Blue Jackets Jan. 9 and the Hurricanes Jan. 19. 

They could set a new record with a 10th win if they can beat the Coyotes Jan. 29. 

Near division lead

Twenty-nine days after the blowout loss to Nashville, Toronto is sitting just two points out of first place in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs have 41 points, trailing the division-leading Lightning, who have 43. They sit sixth in the Eastern Conference but are a mere three points behind the conference-leading Penguins.

Toronto is in good shape to earn a playoff spot, sitting first in the conference wild card race, seven points ahead of the second-place team, the Florida Panthers.

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