Frozen Fantasy: New NHL Reality
Frozen Fantasy: New NHL Reality

This article is part of our Frozen Fantasy series.

I live a stone's throw from Toronto. John Tavares. Auston Matthews. Mitch Marner. Morgan Rielly. AND their combined 21 goals and 44 points through five games.

Yep. The parade route is being planned.

Then again, Leafs' fans had a parade route set in 2013 until James Reimer collapsed in Game 7 against the Bruins.

I know – that was just the first round. That's how parched they are.

But little did those fans know they witnessed the birth of a new hockey reality at the World Cup in September 2016. And not just because Mr. Matthews skated on their home ice.

Team North America reset the reality for hockey today. They were fast. They were skilled. They had no fear. People said that U23 squad just didn't know they shouldn't be winning.

The reality was they were simply better than most of the veteran teams in that World Cup. Period. Dead stop.

And with that, the style of NHL hockey changed forever. And it's great for fantasy.

Today's game is seriously up-tempo. It's confident, maybe even fearless. And goalies are quaking in their skates.

Just look at the Leafs, especially that power play. They whip that puck around faster than commentators can make the calls. Goalies don't have a chance.

Matthews, Rielly, Tavares and Marner sit top-four on the league's scoring list heading into weekend play. No, they can't keep up that pace. But they sure are fun to watch.

Just like Connor McDavid, Jack

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Janet Eagleson
Janet Eagleson is a seven-time Finalist and four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. She is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, loved the OHL London Knights when they were bad and cheers loudly for the Blackhawks, too. But her top passion? The World Junior Hockey Championships each and every year.
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