Gearing Up For The Final Stretch

ELBOW!? HE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN STANDING THERE! (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

For more years than I care to remember, the Leafs have put together a wonderful runs after the All-Star break that have failed to carry them into the post-season. I figure that it's a coin toss whether or not the Leafs will actually pull it off this year, but James Mirtle is somewhat less optimistic:

Even if the Leafs can repeat that 33-game run from last season, they would still only end up with 97 points – enough to make the postseason, sure, but not by any huge margin.

Roughly 92 or 93 likely does the trick this season, but that still means playing at a slightly better clip the rest of the way than they have so far.

Toronto will need to be better against good teams such as the Penguins, and they’ll need stories like Reimer’s last year when he went 16-7-5 with a .917 save percentage after the all-star game.

Eep.

Well, plenty of links for your perusal once again, today. Real hockey starts back up again tonight, with the Leafs taking on the Penguins, so stay tuned for more from us today.

Leafs Links:

What's Eating Nikolai Kulemin?
Besides a person with a lot of tequila. This one's my own post at The Leafs Nation.

Marlies Weekly Update - January 23-31
Jeffler recaps the week that was for the Marlies and previews their return to action after the AHL ASG.

What Would Be In A 2012 Maple Leafs Time Capsule?
Dirty Dangle has a few good suggestions.

GM for a day: who would you bring to Toronto?
Vintage Leaf Memories asks the question.

Weekend Recap: Marlies Drop Two Against the North
Ben Scrivens and Matt Frattin the lone bright spots. From Kyle Cicerella.

"Suck it Phaneuf. Woooo!"
In case you didn't catch this, it's kinda funny. Link via Travis Hughes at Broad St. Hockey.

Maple Leafs Panel: Former Players, Top-Tier Goalies & J-M Liles
Lukas Hardonk, Mark Ascione, and Alex Mamalis all weigh in.

Mikhail Grabovski Continues to Mark His Spot with Weekly First Star Award
Grabbo has really begun to turn his season around. Perfect timing too, since he's prime trade fodder. From Lukas Hardonk at The Hockey Writers.

Other Hockey Links:

Rookie Forward Deployments, League-Wide
Great little post from Derek Zona at The Copper & Blue.

History Lessons: The Point of the All-Star Game
An excellent article from Ellen Etchingham at Backhand Shelf. Definitely worth a read.

Another tasty upgrade to behindthenet.ca
Enough said.

Canadians care more about Skills Competition than NHL All-Star Game
Strange. From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy.

All-Star Weekend, Power Rankings, and our own Jackie Redmond
Backhand Shelf's podcast is always a good listen.

The Cult of Stu
More good stuff from Tyler Dellow.

Hurricanes sign Gleason to four-year extension
In cast you haven't heard, the deal is worth $16M over 4 years. From the CP at the Globe.

7th Inning Sketch
Not bad. Glove tap to Gabriel Desjardins for the link.

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