Here’s your breakdown of last night’s results (highlights in the right sidebar):
- Montreal – LOST
- Tampa Bay – LOST
- Washington – LOST
- Columbus – LOST
- Detroit – LOST in OT
One point out of a possible ten was garnered by the Leafs‘ closest competitors in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
If we perform the simple, time-saving exercise of calculating the playoff cut-off line via the points pace of the current last-seeded wildcard team, the magic number is 91. 18 games remain, so .500 hockey likely ensures a berth with 92 points.
That’s if your sights are set low, of course. With the recent downturn of the Tampa Bay Lightning (3-7 in L10), the Leafs are in the third divisional playoff spot in the Atlantic at the moment, three behind the second-placed Canadiens, who the Leafs play one more time before the season is through.
Starting with the Flyers game on Saturday, the Leafs enter a particularly meaningful and brutal eight-game stretch. They travel through the State of Hockey Dominance known as California (Anaheim, LA and San Jose have a collective record of 119 – 56 – 19; the Ducks and Sharks are an awful back-to-back next week on Monday-Tuesday, meaning three games in four nights). They will also play five games against five teams within six points of them in the Eastern Conference (Philly, Washington, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Montreal), many of whom have a game in hand. With all eight games played in a 15-day span. Wow.
It’s sure to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Let’s keep the good vibes rolling this Friday morning:
@MapleLeafs have at least a point in 15 of their last 18 games. The team has 27 points since Jan. 12/14, the most in the NHL in that period.
— Andy Frost (@AndyFrostQ107) March 6, 2014
- Thomas Vanek Ruin the Leafs’ Trade Plans. They can have him if he keeps blowing one-timers in Hab losses.
- Was Peter Holland a Waste of a 2nd round pick? These numbers say absolutely not.
- Maple Leafs’ depth on display, says Poulin. Be nice to find a few more goals from down the lineup.
- The ‘Leo Komarov Rule.’ I loved Komarov and all, but it’s sure easy to lionize the guy when you read about his love for all things Maple Leaf.
- Penthouse-Doghouse: Bozak getting it done, giveaways an issue. Still can’t believe two shorthanded goals against on the same powerplay twice in a week.
- Maple Leafs in tough as teams around them improve at deadline. 18 points in 18 games is not a huge ask.