Ben Smith’s Late Goal Keeps Leafs Alive in Playoff Race

Ben Smith’s Late Goal Keeps Leafs Alive in Playoff Race

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Leafs fans, be sure to tweet your appreciation to the Blackhawks’ @BenASmith12 for his game-winning goal over the Blue Jackets with three seconds remaining in regulation in tonight’s 4-3 Chicago win over Columbus. The Blue Jackets are now one point ahead of the Leafs with one game in hand instead of two.

After their game against the Islanders on Sunday (have to figure it’s a win), the Jackets will have to play two teams that are fighting for their playoff lives in the West in Phoenix and Dallas (currently tied for the last wildcard spot in the West) in a back to back next week. They will wrap the season with another back to back against the Lightning and Panthers.

The Leafs will host Winnipeg on Saturday (final home game) before hitting the road for a Tuesday game in Tampa Bay, a Thursday game in Sunrise, and the season finale in Ottawa the following Saturday.

Leafs Remaining Games
Blue Jackets Remaning Games
vs. Winnipeg (April 5)vs. Islanders (April 6)
vs. Lightning (April 8)vs. Coyotes (April 8)
vs. Panthers (April 10)vs. Stars (April 9)
vs. Senators (April 12)vs. Lightning (April 11)
vs. Panthers (April 12)

The Leafs will need to go 4-0-0 and hope the Blue Jackets go 3-2 or worse. A 3-1 run from the Leafs requires the Jackets go 2-3. The Leafs cannot catch the Blue Jackets on ROW and must finish one point ahead. The Leafs also have to hope the Devils don’t catch fire in their final five games.

wildcardstandings

At the very least, there’s still hope.

The Leafs will need James Reimer to seize the moment, as Jonathan Bernier’s regular season is done due to an MCL sprain.

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605 comments
Cartsy
Cartsy

Would anyone consider trading Reimer to NYI in some sort of package to get one of their defensive prospects? ie Reinhart, Pulock, De Haan??  Or are we looking for more proven commodities at this point? 

ingy56
ingy56

Islanders 1-0 over Washington...Ovechkin -1

Jordan29
Jordan29

JVR-Bozak-Kessel

Lupul-Kadri-Leivo

Holland-Bolland-Clarkson

Ashton-Mcclement-Bodie

-

Thats an ok lineup if we upgrade the defence 

Jordan29
Jordan29

I really could live with next year if we see Leivo, Holland, Ashton and maybe a younger defenceman make the team..........as long as franson says goodbye

B_Leaf
B_Leaf

Leivo has had a pretty good AHL rookie campaign. 20 goals and 38 points in 50 odd games is decent. He also seems to be stronger as the season progresses.

Finn with a goal and assist last night...Brown 3 apples

maple1967leafs
maple1967leafs

I think the thing that helps us most is that the Jackets play 4 games in 5 nights

DARF24
DARF24

so this last CBJ-DAL game will start 13:37 in with CBJ up 1-0?

BPsotka
BPsotka

As the Capitals' GM, would you guys consider trading Ovechkin?

Jay31
Jay31

Pacioretty has more goals than kessel right now... Disgusting

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

Leivo is top 6 or bust player right?   20 goals as a 20 year old rookie in the AHL. 

Hammertownleaffan
Hammertownleaffan

Also, this Avs/Blues game is amazing. Tell me someone saw the ref fall on the ice and slowly crawl away from the line brawl like a chick in a horror movie? I need a gif of that

Jordan29
Jordan29

I have to say though, NJ seems like the NYIs of 2005-06 coming out of nowhere to piss everyone off

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

a 5 and a game for that? geez

Jordan29
Jordan29

Holy shit, i didnt even realize the jackets are playing both dallas and phoenix still. Both teams in a complete dog fight for the final west playoff spot

Chris Jay
Chris Jay

It's gonna take a miracle for this team to make the post-season but holy fuck if they do, I'm streaking this sleepy town!

ingy56
ingy56

@Cartsy  I'd like to expand the deal and get Strome somehow. 

DARF24
DARF24

@ingy56  hopefully the Islanders can go on a tare. 

ingy56
ingy56

@B_Leaf  The Ruperts combined for a goal and an assist last night too. 

Jordan29
Jordan29

@B_Leaf  Leivo will likely be on the Leafs next year. Just seemed like the most ready of all the younger ones who played a few games. Other then Ashton and Damigo obviously 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Obvious over the years how you can't build a team around a one-way guy especially when he's sucking that much out of the payroll.

ingy56
ingy56

@Jay31  Sorry, not familiar with that name..is he in the ECHL? 

Jordan29
Jordan29

@CanuckUKinToronto  washington is done already, they have like a 1% chance at the playoffs and wont pass us if we go the 4-0 or 3-1 we need to go anyways

ingy56
ingy56

@Jordan29  Back-to-back too. They have a 1-0 lead in the Dallas game already though. 

rockydundas
rockydundas

@Chris Jay Wait a minute...what 'sleepy town' are you talking about....there's a lot of them. You could streak through downtown Smithville and I don't thing anyone would notice....

whalz
whalz

I think Leivo is a Marlie next yr once again to dominate that league. Holland, Ashton a NF Damigo should be leafs

BPsotka
BPsotka

@ingy56 @BPsotka  Because you think teams would overpay for him or because you don't think they can win with him as captain?

ingy56
ingy56

@BPsotka @ingy56 The proof is in the results, look at that pathetic backcheck effort the other night, plus there was a virtually identical one like it last year, from the playoffs no less. The guy is poison, I could see Montreal being interested though. I'd move on, spread the wealth around and develop a team concept. Oates is actually looking like a decent coach but Ovechkin is a coach killer if there ever was one. 

Hammertownleaffan
Hammertownleaffan

@CanuckUKinToronto @Jordan29  I think he's just saying it really doesn't matter from a Toronto fan's perspective what Washington does. The only way we get in the playoffs is to get 7-8 of our last 8 points. Washington can't catch us if we do that.