Saturday, March 8, 2008

As the Leafs Turn, Edition #142897

It's funny how things work sometimes. The Leafs, left for dead about a month ago and mired in inner turmoil, have been playing pretty well lately. Depending on who you ask in the Canadian media, they may or may not have a chance at the playoffs.

From Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun:

It is just far-fetched enough in this crazy, tumultuous, and controversial Maple Leafs season that making the playoffs no is longer out of the question.

Actually, with all that has gone on, a near calendar of calamity, the Leafs may be just astonishing enough to finish eighth in the Eastern Conference.

And from the Globe and Mail's (among other things) James Mirtle:

Currently in 12th spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference with 68 points in 67 games, the Leafs are on pace for 83 points this season, eight fewer than when they placed ninth last year and missed the playoffs. The team needs an 11-3-1 record in its final 15 games to reach last season's 91 points.

According to, which takes into account strength of schedule, there is a 95-per-cent chance the Leafs miss the playoffs this season. The website ranks Toronto's opposition over the next 15 games as the most difficult of all teams in the conference.

Tonight, the Leafs lost 2-1 to New Jersey leaving them 8 points behind Philadelphia for the 8th spot in the conference. With 12 games to go and the Flyers having a game in hand, it's tough to believe that they have any shot. In all reality the Sabres, four points back, are about the only team left with a serious shot at playing in more than 82 games.

But don't tell that to Yahoo! Sports' Jon Palmieri.

At the very least, he has all of his bases covered.

Unable to deal several high-priced veterans at the trading deadline, this appeared to be a lost season for the Toronto Maple Leafs in more ways than one.

A recent resurgence, however, has put the team’s focus back on making the playoffs.

I'm with Mirtle on this one. Stick a fork in them, something we all did a while ago. I guess some people just like to pull it out and torture Leaf fans a little longer with false hopes. And the full disclosure is that I'm writing the Islanders off too. I'm not trying to pick on the Leafs here.


  1. I feel like nothing ever kills the Leafs fans hopes. They have been hoping for a Stanley Cup for more than 40 years now, and they have seen some absolutely awful teams. Most of them will probably take that 5% chance and run with it.

    As a fan of Minnesota teams (in all sports we have had some pretty awful teams ourselves) I feel for them. I hope the Leafs make that 5% chance a reality.

  2. We'll see how much hope Toronto fans have after 2 straight losses in the upcoming home-and-home with the Flyers...

  3. @kirsten: at least we're not (pre-2004)Red Sox fans. Now THERE'S hope that can kill. I have a feeling this will turn out bad no matter how we go--if we lose, we'll get a good draft pick that probably won't come in for another few years, or if we win we'll get screwed out of said draft and continue the suckery. Ick.

  4. Such delusional notions are usually more the provence of Cubs fans.