"Hey pal, one down. Just 8 more shutouts to go."
At the end of the season, we'll conduct a more exhaustive accounting of the Maple Leafs' 2010-2011 season. We'll look at the events that shaped the season, the players that wore the blue and white, the development of our prospects, the future of the team, and God knows what else we'll find the time to do. Hopefully, that time will come later rather than sooner.
Before last night's game against the Wild it looked like the Leaf would need to win eight of their final nine games to hit 90 points and the likely playoff threshold. That seems daunting for one of the youngest teams in the National Hockey League but nothing is impossible with James Reimer in net. It would not be the first time post-lockout that the Leafs have put together a great run to finish the year. Behind J-S Aubin the Leafs finished 2005-2006 6-1-2 to fall heartbreakingly close. That would actually set the Leafs at 88 points which would kill me. If the Leafs matched that point total, they'd drop four points the rest of the way. Why is that significant?
Because today's Noon Number is actually a Tragic Number. Any combination of Leafs' points lost and Sabres' points gained that totals 11 would give the Sabres' the eighth spot. If the Leafs were to match that 6-1-2 record the Sabres would only need to pick up seven points over their last nine games. It's a big ask on both sides of the equation but maybe the Leafs will start getting some help.