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Amazing Hyman Playoff Stat Bringing Shame to the Maple Leafs

Zach Hyman has reached an incredible feat already in this season’s NHL playoffs, and hit a number that should shame the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Decisions made during the offseason can often reverberate throughout the entire season, sometimes even beyond. Such is the case with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ decision to let Zach Hyman walk in free agency, a move that has seen the forward flourish with the Edmonton Oilers since joining the team in the 2021-22 NHL season. Hyman put an exclamation point on that fact Friday night when he scored his sixth goal of this season’s playoffs, matching the 2023-24 playoff goal total for the entire Maple Leafs roster.

The Maple Leafs are supposed to be an offensive juggernaut. Yet, one man, someone they let leave for no return at all, has matched the goal output of their entire team.

Hyman Has Been the Find of the Oilers’ Franchise

Hyman’s transition to the Oilers has been nothing short of remarkable. From the moment he donned the orange and blue jersey, he found himself seamlessly slotting in beside none other than Connor McDavid, arguably the league’s most electrifying talent. Their chemistry on the ice has been palpable, with Hyman complementing McDavid’s speed and skill with his tenacity and scoring touch. Labeled Shaq Hyman by the NHL on TNT crew, he’s proven to be among the best at scoring from the paint, but he’s added another element of finding open ice and slipping coverage to his hockey resume. Hyman can drive a line or accent one. He’s a leader, an unbelievably nice guy, and an incredible teammate.

Since he arrived in Edmonton, Hyman has seen a notable uptick in his career numbers. Few probably expected him to score at the rate he’s scoring in this season’s playoffs. Through the first three games, both Hyman and his former team, the Maple Leafs, have tallied six goals. Should Toronto struggle in Game 4 on Sunday and be eliminated by the Boston Bruins in their first-round series, there’s a chance he could outscore their team completely in the 2023-24 postseason.

How Are Toronto Fans Feeling These Days About Hyman’s Game?

While Hyman thrives in his new environment, the Maple Leafs find themselves grappling with familiar postseason struggles. Drama surrounds William Nylander‘s injury, Auston Matthews‘ illness, and Mitch Marner‘s inconsistencies. Despite boasting a talented roster, Toronto has repeatedly faltered in its quest to advance past the first round of the playoffs, dumping one of the hardest-working forwards in the game to keep a core four of talented, but often-unproductive elite talent. The absence of a player of Hyman’s caliber, known for his relentless grind and playoff prowess, has undoubtedly left a void in the team’s lineup.

Zach Hyman Oilers Leafs

As the playoffs unfold and Hyman continues to make his mark with the Oilers, his success serves as a poignant reminder of what could have been for the Maple Leafs. While hindsight may be 20/20, Toronto’s decision to let Hyman depart now stands as a missed opportunity. It’s one that underscores the importance of roster decisions and how they can have a lasting effect on an organization.

One team’s financial burden can quickly become another’s greatest signing in franchise history. Hyman has embarrassed the Maple Leafs while proving their lack of faith in his ability was a huge mistake. Meanwhile, the Oilers have shoved it in the face of doubters who suggest GM Ken Holland was overpaying Hyman when the Oilers signed him to a seven-year, $5.5 million contract.

Next: Why Game 3 Was Do or Die For Oilers’ Stuart Skinner

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