Two years ago, on this date, the Leafs were 7 points out of the playoffs and sitting in 11th place. They are in exactly the same place as they are this year. Except that two years ago was an Olympic year so they had 20 games to make up that gap instead of just 11 as they do now. It goes without saying that it's a big ask of the Leafs and maybe guys like Kypreos should laugh at the idea. At the same time, that idea fuels viewership so his bosses might want to tell him to stop telling viewers not to bother watching.
As for tonight, if last night's game was guaranteed win night, then the Flyer half of this home-and-home is a guaranteed loss night. The Leafs have played back-to-back games 10 times this year and their record is 1-8-1 in the second games. Sure, all that the Leafs can do is forget about the past, focus on their current game, try to minimize mistakes, hope to get some bounces, and give 100% for 60 minutes. Then again, they could prove me wrong and win this game in regulation. If they do, I promise the most optimistic post ever.
Here are the other results that the Leafs will need to see to maximize the value of their win (before the Leafs win):
- The Flames beat the Capitals and leave the Capitals even with the Leafs but ahead on wins.
- The CrosKins beat the Sabres to keep them within 3 points of the Leafs.
- DiPietro and the Islanders beat the Panthers which leaves the Leafs a point back but with a game in hand (the imminent Flyers' win).
- Chicago beats Carolina so that the teams below the Leafs stay close so that when the playoff run fails they are within catching distance.
One last thing from last night that I forgot to mention. At some point Hatcher once again took a huge run at Alex Steen and missed. Somewhere Joffrey Lupul was having flashbacks and in my apartment I was laughing at the glacier-like goon missing an attempt to injure once again.
Remember to put your SPG guesses in the comments. The competition is fierce with only 11 more chances to pick up points. First prize gets a great poster and last place gets a McCabe poster. Also, try to guess the final hits tally and whether the Leafs will win that or not.