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MLHS Morning Mashup: All But Over

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Photo Credit: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”
-Murphy’s Law

It’s obvious now this Murphy character was a prescient Leafs fan. After the Leafs continued to do their part by dispatching the Senators on Saturday, the worst possible scenario transpired on Sunday as the Rangers beat the Flyers before the Sabres and Hurricanes put the icing in the shitcake by taking their game to overtime. The Hurricanes and Rangers are now 7-2-1 in their last ten while Buffalo is 6-2-2. The Leafs handed Buffalo one of their regulation losses while the other came from the Hurricanes. One of two Hurricane losses came from the Leafs. One of two Rangers losses came from Buffalo. It all adds up to the Leafs taking care of their must wins but receiving practically no help from teams not involved themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Credit to the Sabres, Rangers and Canes for playing really good hockey that hasn’t allowed the Leafs to catch up after a horrible first half of their season.

For those maintaining hope until the math says there isn’t any, the Leafs would have to win out with three regulation/overtime wins while two of the three below scenarios would have to play out for them to make it:

Team Needed Record
Buffalo Sabres 0-3*
New York Rangers 0-3 or 0-2-1
Carolina Hurricanes 0-3, 0-2-1, 1-2, 1-1-1

*Leafs would be tied on points and ROW but won the season series, the second tiebreaker. All Leaf wins must therefore come in regulation or overtime to beat Buffalo on a tiebreaker.

A good final three would see the Leafs stay ahead of Minnesota, St. Louis and Columbus in the league standings and potentially enable them to pass Carolina and Dallas into 18th – leaving Boston with the 12th pick in the draft and making the Kessel deal look quite a bit prettier, if you care about the optics of that anymore. While it’s certainly tough to accept the end of this exciting tear the Leafs are on, the main consolation we can take in another early entry into the off-season months is feeling the best we have about the state of the franchise since before the lockout.

Onto your mashup from Greg:

Quotables:

“You look at the good teams across the league and they’re the ones that can play well in pressure games. And you see them, there’s no panic in their game, they’re just confident in what they can do.”

- James Reimer, courtesy of AM 640′s Jonas Siegel

Leafs Links:

Leafs Pull Out Another Must Win

Jonas Siegel recaps Saturday night’s win over Ottawa.

Leafs’ playoff hopes dealt a blow with Rangers’ shootout win

Leafs are now five points back of the eighth place Rangers with only three games remaining.

Why Leafs fans have owner envy

Toronto Star columnist Jennifer Wells looks at Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and what he has brought to the organization and city of Washington.

Tight-lipped Kessel does his scoring on the ice

Instead of being open with the media, Kessel let’s his play do the talking.

Reimer chasing Crha

Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun shares some news and notes on the Leafs from the weekend.

Other hockey links:

Mandi Schwartz, inspirational Yale hockey player, dies at 23

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mandi’s family and friends. The former Yale forward had a hard battled with acute myeloid leukemia since 2008.

Last Night in Leafs Prospects

The Owen Sound Attack defeated the London Knights 1-0 yesterday afternoon to take the best-of-7 series, 4-2. They will face either the Saginaw Spirit or the Guelph Storm in the second round. Jesse Blacker went pointless in the final two games, but was a stable presence on the back end throughout the series.

In other action, the Erie Otters earned a 6-5 decision over Windsor to even the series at three wins apiece, with game seven set for this Tuesday. Kenny Ryan had two assists for the Spitfires, while Greg McKegg went pointless for Erie.