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

888

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 GamesBlue 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.

  • Optimustic

    Go Leafs Go, and go whoever CBJ is playing against.

  • ConnorCrisp

    you know, if philly crashes and burns we could be chasing them instead

  • steele123

    Finished my first ever OHL playoff colour commentary and boys it was a blast! Even managed to get in a Victor Stalberg joke!

  • wiski

    steele123  Not gonna share?

  • wiski

    ConnorCrisp  It would take a leaf like debacle

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/LupesTroops https://twitter.com/LupesTroops/status/452282705078525953
    Proud to honour at tomorrow night’s game,Sergeant Stacey Williamson and her husband Warrant Officer Shane Williamson! http://t.co/QzbUcspVTl

  • steele123

    wiski steele123  Essentially the joke went that I was complimenting Miles Liberati a player on the Battalion and how he reminds me of a young Del Zotto to which myself and the play by play chatted about Nashville’s defense and how solid they were then I said “Yeah but if your big offensive gun is Victor Stalberg you’re in for a bad time”

  • MLHS_Luke

    Leaf fans waiting for the Columbus game to end:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxjhrZ47FiU

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/TorontoMarlies https://twitter.com/TorontoMarlies/status/452282165049311234
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Marlies&src=hash clinch a https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CalderCup&src=hash Playoff spot. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CaptainSmith&src=hash will be leading the team into spring: http://t.co/JB6b7xHEI5

  • wiski

    MLHS_Luke  that was tense

  • Cloud09

    wiski  Great season for the Marlies. Defied expectations all year and are poised for a long playoff run. A Calder Cup can go a long way for these prospects and will translate into NHL jobs for some.

  • Biltmore

    Jackets beat the Islanders and Panthers, giving them four more points than now. Toronto loses to Bolts, beats Jets, Panthers and Sens for six points…. ending season one point ahead of Columbus. 
    Then they beat the Bruins in six in the first round.

  • Komas Taberle

    wiski  
    Does she play 2nd line LW?

  • Bruffins

    “even though lucic destroyed him it still sparked the leafs to the win. they played with more energy after it…also did you see him collide into kadri around the net in the 3rd. ever since then kadri showed more hustle. Phaneuf was making turnovers instead and declining fights with guys his size but was ok going after midgets like daniel paille. If Clarkson isnt wearing the C next year then nonis and carlyle should be fired! ”

    So much stupid it hurts

  • Sundin_13

    Bruffins  wtf is this nonsense

  • Yan28

    https://twitter.com/scottcwheeler/status/452269384825057282

  • Yan28

    Can’t wait to see this Rupert kid with the Marlies. Plays with that grit.

  • Yan28

    https://twitter.com/HockeyCrock/status/452189774858563584

  • 2minutes

    I am just praying CLB somehow loses the next couple and then our destiny is back in our own hands.

  • 2minutes

    Here’s a scenario for you guys…
    The Leafs win out and the Devils win their next four… Do the Bruins “toss” the game knowing we almost put them out last year? Or do they play NJD tough and want to take us on again??

  • LeafsForLife

    Bruffins Why would Phaneuf engage Thorton in a fight? Thorton is a 4th line fighter. Phaneuf is our #1 defenceman. Its no different that nobody wants to engage Orr. They would lose and the trade-off isnt worth it.

  • Savo43

    2minutes  just relax my friend, enjoy the games, one at a time and lets see what happens. i don’t think boston tries to lose any game, but the management may rest star players for the big run bc they can afford to do so. If they win theyll say “great”, but if they lose? “meh, not thaaat big a deal”.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Yan28   Can’t wait to see Mat Finn with the Leafs. He’s better than Cody ceci.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    2minutes Boston has been doing their part to help us actually

  • WendelGilmour

    Anyone else see Matt Finn last night? He looked great.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto I want to see Phil pop 40 as well

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto Shift_Disturber1The Phil will surprise and do both 😉

  • WendelGilmour

    Well he’s big, not huge, very strong. Skates very well, very smart, wicked shot, and very good battling for pucks and clearing the zone. I’d have to think about that.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto Shift_Disturber1eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww. that’s gross. C’MON PHIL!!!!

  • Zep2

    CanuckUKinToronto  I don’t know if there are 2 more exciting / talented young D  on the same team in this league

    Gardiner as you point out has been great of late, and his defence is getting better. Rielly is the real deal. His shot / release needs some work and he will have struggles defensively, but he’s 20 and Burke can say ” I told you so” with a straight face.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto   I hope so. Early season Reims I would have no doubt. I hope he can get back into his old headspace and regain some confidence.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto a mere 6 points separate Franson (33) from Rielly (27) with Dion (31) and Jake (29) in between them.  Pretty tight grouping of points from these D.

    Wait until Rielly starts dialing in those posts and crossbars and his teammates start getting the puck back to him on some of these give an go plays that they have been ignoring him on.

    I thought both Gardiner and Rielly have improved on the defensive side of things as of late. Good things ahead for them I believe.

  • Zep2

    CanuckUKinToronto Zep2  3 words

    Chicago Blackhawks

    OK 2 words

  • Zep2

    Lupul back to nite?

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Not for us 😉
    https://twitter.com/ChrisKuc

    https://twitter.com/ChrisKuc/status/452430099283836928

    The take from https://twitter.com/Aportzline in The Columbus Dispatch. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Blackhawks&src=hash http://t.co/pn3RRz51jK

  • Zep2

    CanuckUKinToronto Zep2  Can they find a spot for Ashton
    Nice to have his size and speed against a team who gives us fits with their size and speed

  • traNsplantEdneWfie

    Wow, I didn’t know it was at the end like that.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Shift_Disturber1  Love that picture..they maybe gutted fro a bit after that.  *door opens ever so slightly*

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    So I am predicting another 4-3 win this evening.  Haters just get away from my team….we are on our way to the playoffs.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Haha. Anyone notice the headline below it? Typical of Toronto sports media. “Wasted chance brings past failures to light”

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto Shift_Disturber1  
    https://twitter.com/burtonboy12

    https://twitter.com/burtonboy12/status/452432656282968064

    NYI have won 3 in a row and
    beat the Jackets 2-0 last time they played. The game on Sunday is not a
    slam dunk by any means for Columbus

  • Shift_Disturber1

    CanuckUKinToronto Shift_Disturber1  Not sure. Maybe he’s catching up on some news before heading over here

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    CanuckUKinToronto Well sir, its gotta be a lock then !!

  • Shift_Disturber1

    OHL draft today

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Shift_Disturber1  yes sir….my buddies kid is in it.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    TheCanucksnaphook Shift_Disturber1  Good luck to him.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    https://twitter.com/OHLHockey

    https://twitter.com/OHLHockey/status/452432598007316480

    The Sarnia https://twitter.com/StingHockey officially open the https://twitter.com/search?q=%23OHLDraft&src=hash completing the announcement they made Friday selecting Jakob Chychrun 1st overall
    https://twitter.com/OHLRangers

    https://twitter.com/OHLRangers/status/452433228939268097

    Rangers are proud to announce that we have selected F Adam Mascherin with the 2nd overall pick in the https://twitter.com/search?q=%23OHLDraft&src=hash! http://t.co/JD7Sdhh6Oa
     https://twitter.com/OHLHockey

    https://twitter.com/OHLHockey/status/452434398487805953

    Congrats to Travis Barron https://twitter.com/TBarron89 of https://twitter.com/JrCanadiensAAA selected 3rd overall in the https://twitter.com/search?q=%23OHLDraft&src=hash by https://twitter.com/Ottawa67sHockey

  • Mind Bomb

    Shift_Disturber1 GO STING ! :)  Morning Folks

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Shift_Disturber1 they have him pegged deep. Not really on the radar yet.  Funny enough a bit small compared to his dad.  I think in the 140 pick range.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    CanuckUKinToronto Naw, he has got this.  That win vs the Bruins was his return to solid play.