Blog Entry

Playoff Watch: Leafs face another must-win game

Posted on: March 31, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 2:17 pm
WHO CAN CLINCH: The Boston Bruins can clinch the Northeast Division if they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Tampa Bay Lightning will secure a playoff berth if they beat the Pittsburg Penguins. The Canucks will seize the Presidents’ Trophy with a victory over the Los Angeles Kings combined with a regulation loss by the Philadelphia Flyers, who face the Atlanta Thrashers. The San Jose Sharks are in with regulation win over the Dallas Stars.

ALREADY IN:  Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.   

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Toronto Maple Leafs (35-32-10) at Boston Bruins (43-23-10), 7 p.m. ET

Toronto won the last two meetings of these Original Six franchises and it probably needs to make it three in a row to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Leafs enter the night seven points behind both the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, who each have 87 points and occupy seventh and eighth place, respectively.

The task is not an easy one tonight for the Leafs, who will need to get the puck past Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas has won his last four starts and has a 0.50 goals-against average during that stretch, which includes a 3-0 shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. He has nine shutouts this season, the most for a Bruin since Byron Dafoe (10) in 1998-99. The Leafs’ young goalie, James Reimer, has also kept them competitive for weeks. He leads all rookies in save percentage (.922) and is 13-4-4 in his last 21 decisions. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Los Angeles Kings (44-26-6) at Vancouver Canucks (51-17-9), 10 p.m. ET
The Kings have so far have not felt the absences of their top two scorers. The Kings have won all three games minus Justin Williams (out at least another three weeks with a separated shoulder suffered March 21) and their victory Tuesday over the Edmonton Oilers came without Anze Kopitar (out indefinitely with torn ligaments in his ankle). Los Angeles enters on a four-game winning streak overall, but the biggest test comes tonight against a team that can clinch the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in franchise history. 

GOLF WATCH: The Columbus Blue Jackets need to win tonight to remain in the mix. The Atlanta Thrashers need to get at least one point tonight. Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Colorado and Edmonton have already mathematically out of it.

-- A.J. Perez
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:59 pm
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Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2011 1:30 pm

Playoff Watch: Leafs face another must-win game

I don't know what games you have ben watching , but the Leafs beat the Bruins twice in a row , the last two games that they played . Will the Leafs get in the playoffs ? It's hard to say , but , if you look at last years season , there were 3 teams that make it in on the last game of the season , Philly , Rangers , look at what happened . If you are a fans of the Leafs , you would be rooting them on , not saying " the season is over " . The Rangers are falling , and the Habs are loosing too . Anything can , and it will and did , happen . Look at trhe Sabres . They have been playing the same way as the Leafs . And they have the same record as the Leafs , after the All-Star break . Al they can do is keep winning .

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:54 am

Playoff Watch: Leafs face another must-win game

There's a big difference between the two situations.  With VCU, it's win and you're in.  For the Leafs, even if they win out, 2 of Carolina, Buffalo and the Rangershave to completely tank it.  I don't think 90 points (the maximum the Leafs can get this year) is going to be good enough.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 31, 2011 6:19 pm

Playoff Watch: Leafs face another must-win game

One can only hope that they make a charge and sneak in.  If VCU can make the Final Four, the Leafs can win a few games and get in the Playoffs.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: March 31, 2011 4:27 pm

Playoff Watch: Leafs face another must-win game

As a Leafs fan, even I have to admit this season is over, at least in terms of making the playoffs.  That being said, they still have a lot to play for.  First, the Bruins have the Leafs draft pick, so try to give them as bad a pick as possible.  Second, the Bruins have owned the Leafs until the past couple of games.  Learning how to beat teams like this (the Sabres would be another) is critical to any success going forward.  I think tonight will be a good game to watch, but it's not about playoff implications.

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