The Toronto Maple Leafs may not be at the top of their division, but they do rank first in the league in one statistic: fighting majors. The Maple Leafs continue to build a reputation as a tough team to play against for more than one reason, and have a handful of players who have proven willing to drop the gloves with anyone in the league. Frazer McLaren, Mark Fraser and Colton Orr each have five fighting majors this season, while Mike Brown has four and Nazem Kadri and Mike Kostka have each dropped the games once.
The Maple Leafs have played 19 games this season, so they average more than a fight per game. Intense contests against the Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens that featured multiple fights inflate the number a bit but it has for the most part been consistent. Kadri (five goals, 15 points) and Kostka (six assists) are contributors offensively as well, while McLaren, Orr and Fraser each have two points, easily an added bonus for the Leafs. Brown’s role with the team is quite clear and always has been; while he may not be an offensive threat he is still one of the more feared fighters in the game. McLaren continues to be a great addition since the Maple Leafs claimed him off waivers from the San Jose Sharks. The youngster has great size and has shown a willingness to engage fighters like John Scott, Kevin Westgarth and Tyson Strachan this season.
In a hockey-crazed town like Toronto that has deep roots in “old-time hockey,” fans have a lot to be excited about this season. They have a tough, young team that can scrap with the best of ‘em, emerging young goaltending and enough scoring to win more games than they lose. It may have taken a couple years, but Toronto is once again becoming a “tough” place for opposing teams to play.