Advertisement

Rick Zamperin: 3 Maple Leafs on pace to reach big milestones

Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly (44), John Tavares (91), Nazem Kadri (43), and Mitchell Marner (16) celebrate a goal by Tavares against the Dallas Stars in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Dallas.
Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly (44), John Tavares (91), Nazem Kadri (43), and Mitchell Marner (16) celebrate a goal by Tavares against the Dallas Stars in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Dallas. AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez

Scoring 50 goals in an NHL season is a special achievement. The same can certainly be said for reaching the 100-point plateau.

With just two weeks to play, both milestones are within reach for Toronto Maple Leafs stars John Tavares and Mitch Marner.

Will they reach those magical numbers? Let me set the stage.

Toronto closes out the season with games against Philadelphia (Wednesday night), Ottawa, the New York Islanders, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Montreal.

In his first season in Toronto, Tavares has scored 45 goals — a career-high and a record for a first-year Leaf — and has six more games on the schedule to hit the big 5-0. That hasn’t happened since 1993-94 when Hamilton native Dave Andreychuk led Toronto with 53 tallies. Rick Vaive (three times) and Gary Leeman are the only other Leafs to crack the 50-goal club.

Story continues below advertisement

Tavares has scored seven goals against Toronto’s last six opponents in 2018-19, so the odds of reaching 50 goals appear to be in his favour.

Marner leads the Leafs with 90 points and is trying to become the first Leafs player since Doug Gilmour in 1993-94 to hit the century mark. Marner too has more than decent odds to get to triple digits as he’s recorded two goals and 11 assists against Toronto’s last six teams on the schedule.

Defenceman Morgan Rielly is also zeroing in on a couple of franchise records for goals and points by a blueliner. Rielly has scored 20 goals, two behind co-leaders Ian Turnbull and Al Iafrate, and has accumulated 70 points, nine back of Turnbull’s club record. Against Toronto’s final six foes this season, Rielly has registered three goals and eight assists.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Maple Leafs’ bottom 6 must start pulling their weight

The personal milestones would be great achievements, but it’s safe to say that they won’t mean as much unless the team achieves great success in the playoffs.