Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/4/11

It may still be early on in the 2011-12 NHL campaign, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are certainly turning a lot of heads with their strong play through the first month.
After beating the Columbus Blue Jackets last night by a score of 4-1, the Leafs improved to 9-3-1 on the season, good enough for first in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference. Not bad for a team that has missed the playoffs the last six seasons, eh?

In 13 games, the Leafs have put together a solid recipe for success this season: scoring up and down the lineup and a never say die attitude. Together, it has proven to be a successful combination for the Leafs.

For starters, the team is having no trouble putting the puck in the net this season. The team has scored 45 goals in 13 games, which is an average of 3.46 goals a game. When it comes to goal scoring and the Leafs, one has to look no further than Phil Kessel. Kessel already has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points while also showing some responsible play in his own end.

Along with Kessel, the Leafs also have the likes of Joffrey Lupul (8 goals), Mikhail Grabovski (5 goals) and Clarke MacArthur (5 goals) all putting the puck in the net with some regularity. The team is also getting solid production from its defensemen. Dion Phaneuf is leading the way with 11 points (2 goals and 9 assists) while players such as John Michael-Liles (9 points) and Jake Gardiner (5 assists) are also chipping in on a regular basis.

This season, the club has had a never-say-die attitude. The team knows how to come back to win hockey games and thus far, has never really been out of a game with the exception of its 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins last week.

The Leafs got off to a great start last season, going 4-0. However, that was followed up by an abysmal 1-8-2 stretch that haunted them when push came to shove. Ron Wilson's gang has avoided that letdown, as they have yet to lose in consecutive games.

Look out folks, these Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer a laughing stock in the National Hockey League.

Photo credit: Getty Images
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