It certainly felt like the Leafs allowed their final playoff hopes to slip with their loss to Detroit on Saturday. The Sabres won and the Leafs failed to keep pace, but really it has been Buffalo and New York’s red-hot play since the calendar turned March that has provided the nails to the coffin on the Leafs season. Estimates at one stage had the eighth placed team in the East finishing below 90 points. Now, the Sabres would only need to play at .500 through their final seven to make it to 92. We could be seeing the final team in the East at 94 points come mid April.
With 78 points through 76 games, the Leafs are sitting 21st in the league and could realistically climb as high as 19th, bumping the Bruins’ draft choice out of the top ten. They could surpass Carolina and Minnesota with a good final six, while staying ahead of St. Louis, Columbus (both at 77 points & each with a game in hand) and Atlanta (76 points). A poor final six could drop the Leafs as low as 23rd and put the Bruins as high as seventh in the draft order.
If that’s not optimistic enough of a goal for you, just hope the Leafs can beat Buffalo on Tuesday, sending them into a disastrous downward spiral while the Leafs miraculously win out. Sports Club Stats puts the odds at 0.4%. In the words of Lloyd Christmas, “you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
Onto your mashup from Greg:
â€œWeâ€™re definitely not getting any breaks from the other teams in the league,â€ Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn said. â€œTeams donâ€™t lose down the stretch, I guess. Weâ€™re finding that out.â€
- Courtesy of James Mirtle from The Globe and Mail
Interesting fanpost on Pension Plan Puppets looking at Matt Frattin’s college career and tempering his NHL expectations – ex-NCAA’ers have accomplished similar feats as Frattin and failed to catch on at the NHL level.
PPP with an update on the Leafs’ playoff chances.
Chemmy profiles college free agent Da Costa on The Leafs Nation, who is coveted by the Leafs.
James Mirtle recaps last night’s game and looks at theÂ Leafs strongÂ likelihood of missing the playoffs for a sixth straight season.
Jonas Siegel with a few notes about the blue and white.
Marlies reporter Kyle Cicerella recaps the weekend that was and offers some interesting stats on a few players.
The Star’s Kevin McGran looks at the improving play of Kadri, Reimer, Aulie and Boyce.
Other hockey links:
Great news for the game – Crosby skates for 45 minutes prior to Penguins game yesterday.
Toronto Sports Media with an analysis on Sportsnet’s Crisis on Ice special.
Puck Daddy with an update on the road to the frozen four.
Leafs Video of the Day:
A new Reimer video to help lift your spirits: