December will provide biggest hurdle for Leafs
August 31, 2017, 4:46 PM ET [223 Comments]
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Every team has a hurdle they have to jump during the regular season and once they clear it, they will have a better idea of whether they have what it takes to make the post-season in the Eastern Conference.
If you look at the Toronto Maple Leafs 2017-18 schedule, that hurdle occurs in the month of December.
In the first two months of the season, Toronto’s schedule is split almost down the middle, with 13 games at Air Canada Centre and 14 contests on the road.
That changes in December, when the club plays 13 times and 10 of those games are on the road. After their swing through Western Canada ends in Vancouver on December 1, the Leafs play at home against Calgary five days later, followed by back-to-back weekend games in Pittsburgh against the Cup champion Penguins and at home against Edmonton.
Toronto takes to the road once again for three games in four nights (Philadelphia, Minnesota and Detroit), before returning to ACC for the last time in 2017 for a 2pm contest against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 19.
They finish out the month with five straight away from home; Columbus and New York Rangers before the Christmas break and another Western swing through Arizona, Colorado and Las Vegas.
At that point, the Leafs will be at 40 games and 24 of those will have been as the visiting club.
If Toronto is close to or in a playoff spot at that point, they will have a distinct advantage in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a home heavy second half of the schedule.
The Maple Leafs announced a number of events and activities for fans during the first weekend of training camp in Niagara Falls, ON next month.
Camp will be held at the Gale Centre from Friday, September 15 to Sunday, September 17 and fans will have access to practices, scrimmages, a Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni game and various outdoor activations.
Doors will be opened to fans at 9am each of the three days in Niagara Falls and a group of Maple Leafs alumni will matchup against members of the Canadian Armed Forces Base Borden at 7pm on September 16.
Click here for more information about the Toronto Maple Leafs Training Camp.