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.