Toronto finding right chemistry

Toronto's veteran-laden lineup is playing with the poise you'd expect of a team makes more than $63 million.

Updated: December 24, 2003, 11:41 AM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing so well that they're finally deserving of all the hype, attention and admiration they get in Canada's largest city and scattered across the country.

Darcy Tucker
Darcy Tucker and the Maple Leafs are playing with amazing poise.
A 15-game streak without a regulation time loss (13-0-1-1) has boosted them to No. 1 in the NHL standings with 49 points, one point ahead of Detroit and two ahead of Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia as the league takes two days off for the holidays. After Tuesday night's 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers at Air Canada Centre, everyone in the vast Maple Leafs Nation has already received nearly everything they could have asked from Santa Claus this year.

Everything except one long-unfulfilled wish, that is. A lot more hockey remains to be played until June when we'll see if the Leafs are good enough to win their first Stanley Cup since 1967. This is the furthest into the season the Leafs are first overall since 1962-63, when they won the second of three consecutive Stanley Cups.