Blog Entry

Playoff Watch: Leafs need to make a point (or 2)

Posted on: March 12, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 4:12 pm

Buffalo Sabres (33-26-8) at Toronto Maples Leafs (29-29-10) 

Air Canada Centre, 7 p.m. ET (NHL Network)
SERIES: Buffalo 3-1-0; Toronto 1-2-1

IMPLICATIONS: Buffalo, tied with the New York Rangers points-wise, can get a little breathing room in seventh with a victory. (The Rangers play San Jose tonight.) A victory in this division rivalry would be huge for the Leafs -- especially if it comes in regulation. Depending how things shake out, Toronto could finish the night two points out of eighth. 

BREAKDOWN: This is one three games that will change how the the bottom of the East looks heading into daylight savings time. 

The Leafs, 10-4-5 since the All-Star break, aren't in must-win territory, but they can't lose many of these tilts against teams in front of them in the standings. (They are already winless in their last three outings.) Much the the Leafs' recent success can directly be attributed to goalie James Reimer (above). He's been assigned to the  Toronto's AHL club on three occasions this season, but it's safe to say there won't be a fourth trip down to the Marlies. He enters 12-6-4 and one of his rare down games this rookie season came against Buffalo as he gave up five goals on 30 shots on Feb. 5.  He got the win the last time these two teams met (Feb. 19) in relief of Jean-Sebastien Giguere

This game will be the final game on the road on this current seven-game, 12-day trip for Buffalo. The Sabres are 4-1-1 so far and are coming off a 4-3 OT victory over Boston on Thursday. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Buffalo F Thomas Vanek vs. Toronto F Phil Kessel. Vanek, who missed a game earlier this week with the flu, returned and had a goal and an assist against Boston. He leads the Sabres with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists). Kessel, who has only one point over the last four games, leads all current Toronto players in goals (10) and points (14) in 30 games lifetime against Buffalo. 

KEY STAT: 4-10-4. The Leafs' record in Saturday games. 
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:00 pm
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Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: March 12, 2011 5:41 pm

Playoff Watch: Leafs need to make a point (or 2)

I think you mean they can finish 2 games out of eighth, not two points...

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