"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Confucius
Deep down I think Leafs fans knew last night's game was winnable. Pittsburgh's a very good team but without Malkin and without Crosby it was believable that these young Leafs playing for their lives would make it happen because they had to make it happen.
They didn't let us down last night. Despite being down 2-1 entering the third the Leafs carried play. They kicked and clawed and didn't let a close game slip away. They took it to OT on a Phil Kessel goal and sealed two points in front of a stunned Air Canada Centre on a Phil Kessel pass.
Tonight those Leafs aren't at home and their opponent isn't depleted. The Flyers are firing on all cylinders right now. They're getting .918 goaltending from their rookie netminder and are five points clear of 2nd place in the East with a game in hand. They're 6-3-1 in their last ten games which is better than the suddenly hot Leafs.
Philly has four players over 50 points compared to Toronto's none, and both Jeff Carter and Daniel Briere have one more goal than Phil Kessel. The Leafs haven't won in Philly since March of 2008 but then they hadn't won in two years when they went to Buffalo in February.
Tonight's going to be a nailbiter unless Philly cracks it wide open early and Saturday night's going to be a nailbiter and the rest of March is going to be nerve wracking unless the Leafs throw in the towel but tonight's not about everything that needs to happen, tonight's about taking the first step.