And then the Habs do them a favour by losing to the Rangers and the Leafs respond by...blowing the game in the third after they had tied it early. At the end of the year when people are asking why the Leafs are not in the playoffs the answer will not be found by laying the blame at the feet of Raycroft or any other individual but in the major defensive breakdowns (easily the cause of the majority of the goals against) that came at crippling times (the 3-2 goal tonight). Whether it was a lack of concetration, failing to clear the zone when within five feet of the blueline or RUNNING INTO EACH OTHER!!!! these braincamps have always been of the soul crippling variety.
Maybe the Leafs needed a dispiriting loss (Buffalo, NYR) so that they could be ready for Saturday night against the Habs. If they win then tonight can be forgotten but of course now the Leafs are dependent on the help of a Flyers team that is out of the playoffs and a Devils team that has already clinched the Atlantic Division. Suddenly this plan does not seem so great. At the end of the day all that the Leafs can do is win.