Maple Leafs v. Sabres: Win

 Game Time: 7PM, CBC, AM640
Starting Goalies: James Reimer v. Ryan Miller
 

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - James Reimer 24 1323 12 6 56 2.54 714 658 .922 2
GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Ryan Miller 56 3301 29 19 147 2.67 1696 1549 .913 3

If nothing else, the Toronto Maple Leafs understand the stakes involved in tonight's game:

This is game one of the playoffs for us. I think that’s how you have to look at it. You grew up wanting to play in these games and now we’re here. You want to take advantage of this and play well.

- James Reimer

They certainly couldn't be facing a tougher opponent. The Buffalo Sabres' domination of the Leafs since the day they entered the NHL is well established. Over the past three seasons this series has been one-way traffic. The Sabres are 13-3-0 against the Leafs with three overtime wins, 54 goals for and only 27 against. They've also killed 40 straight in their last 11 games. Amongst those are four one-goal losses and two two-goal losses. That does not bode well for a Leafs' powerplay that is in the midst of a drought that was broken only by Mikhail Grabovski's header at the back post against Philadelphia.

1967ers will have a great post looking at how, while the fat lady may be warming up, nothing is over until she sings her first note. Of course, the playoffs aren't the only thing the Leafs need to worry about.

The Leafs will be doing a lot of scoreboard watching in their pursuit of the playoffs. Tonight, they'll be hoping for San Jose to clip the Rangers and for Columbus to calm the Hurricanes. However, while they have done well to claw their way out of second last into 8th last in the NHL there are plenty of teams behind them waiting to push them down towards the danger zone:

Place Team GP W L OTL/SOL PTS
20
Carolina 
68 31 27 10 72
21
Columbus 
67 31 27 9 71
22
St Louis 
68 31 28 9 71
23
Toronto 
68 29 29 10 68
24
Atlanta 
68 28 28 12 68
25
New Jersey 
67 31 32 4 66
26
NY Islanders 
69 27 32 10 64
27
Florida 
68 27 32 9 63
28
Colorado 
67 26 33 8 60
29
Ottawa 
68 25 34 9 59
30
Edmonton 
69 23 37 9 55

That puts the list of teams the Leafs need to help them out expands to: the Islanders, Flyers, Lightning, Red Wings, and Predators. Ultimaetly though, in both cases, there is only one thing that the Leafs need to do:

 

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