Monday, March 7, 2011

Maple Leafs have long road to playoff spot.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have played some of their best hockey since the all star game, this is nothing new over the past few years as the club seems to always become an over .500 hockey club when things do not seem to matter but the difference this time around is the club is playing well to the point that it does matter.

There is something special about this young squad over the last couple of months and even though they were schooled Saturday by the defending Stanley Cup champs the Black Hawks, we will now see how the young squads composure will come through, will they whittle away or will they rise to the occasion. Leafs coach Ron Wilson has the team playing as well as he has had any squad and GM Brian Burke's trades which subtracted members from the club has only assisted in bringing this group closer together.

The Buds have 16 games remaining with 7 at home and 9 on the road and are in the playoff hunt battling for the 7th and 8th playoff spot with six clubs, the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, Atlanta Thrashers and the New Jersey Devils. The only club in this group hotter then the Leafs over the past 10 games are the Devils who are 9-1-0 compared to the Leafs 6-1-3 record.

The breakdown of games left and who plays who:

Maple Leafs (16 games left) 67 points
7 Home Games- Flyers, Sabres (2), Lightning, Bruins, Capitals, Habs
9 Road Games- Islanders, Hurricanes, Panthers, Wild, Avalanche, Red Wings, Bruins, Senators, Devils

Games against teams in the hunt with them: 4

The Leafs 7 home dates are against clubs that are all over .500 with a crucial two against QEW rival the Sabres who are one of the clubs they are in the fight with, the road sees them take on 5 clubs that are under .500 but one is their provincial rival the Sens who would love to play spoilers and then their is a mini road trip to take on the Western Conference who the buds are 7-7-1 this season against.

Rangers (14 games left) 74 points
7 Home Games- Islanders, Habs, Panthers, Senators, Bruins, Thrashers, Devils
7 Road Games- Ducks, Sharks, Penguins, Bruins, Sabres, Islanders, Flyers

Games against teams in the hunt with them: 3

Sabres (17 games left) 72 points
9 Home Games- Senators, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Predators, Panthers, Devils, Rangers, Lightning, Flyers
8 Road Games- Leafs (2), Habs, Capitals, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Bruins, Penguins

Games against teams in the hunt with them: 6

Hurricanes (16 games left) 71 points
10 Home Games- Thrashers, Blue Jackets, Leafs, Islanders, Senators, Lightning (2), Habs, Sabres, Red Wings
6 Road Games- Capitals (2), Sabres, Lightning, Islanders, Thrashers

Games against teams in the hunt with them: 5

Thrashers (16 games left) 65 points
6 Home Games- Devils, Flyers, Canucks, Senators, Hurricanes, Penguins
10Road Games- Hurricanes, Flyers (2), Devils, Sabres, Islanders, Habs, Bruins, Predators, Rangers

Games against teams in the hunt with them: 6

Devils (17 games left) 64 points
9 Home Games- Senators, Islanders (2), Thrashers, Capitals, Flyers, Habs, Leafs, Bruins
8 Road Games- Thrashers, Senators, Blue Jackets, Bruins, Penguins (2), Sabres, Rangers

Games against teams in the hunt with them: 5

Lets now make 90 points the mark for a playoff spot as this seems to be the norm and the Leafs would then need to go 11-4-1 in their final games to hit this plateau so about .700 hockey the rest of the way, is this do able Leafs Nation? The one club that may have a lot to say with what happens in this playoff race may be the New York Islanders who play 8 of their final 15 games against one of the six clubs. The season is ticking down and the Leafs are in the playoff hunt, its been awhile since we last said that.

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1 comment:

  1. Get used to it. 43 years of failure and counting.