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Winning is probably still the best way for Maple Leafs to make the playoffs

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There is a point where you’re free to lose your way in, but they aren’t there yet.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The realm of the possible keeps getting smaller.

The Leafs will now finish with some number of points between 89 and 101. All results in between are possible, and we can easily guess that neither of those numbers is actually very likely, and that the real result will end up somewhere in the middle. The only question is where.

Taking only one point in the remaining six games seems as unlikely as winning five and losing one in overtime, so 90 and 100 are likely right out too. Now, if we look at 91 and 99—doesn’t this seem laborious to you? It does to me. We keep having to make new guesses each time.

What if we automated this process? It we took out all this hand calculating, it would be as revolutionary as when Jacquard perfected that loom of his.

Guess once, have more time for stocking up on beer and chips, I say. But I try not to judge. Some people like those artisanal hand-made soaps, too. If you want hand-made probability, you know how the comment box works. Me, I let smarter people do it for me with those abacus things the kids are all into these days.

The full chart of numbers shows that only Tampa still has a chance—a slim one—to knock either Toronto or Boston out of their playoff spot.

What’s really interesting is that the chance for the Leafs to finish second in the Atlantic has gone from 20% to 35% in one day. That chance is shared with Ottawa, Montréal and Boston, and there might be a tiny chance Tampa could do it as well.

Montréal has clinched a playoff spot, the only team in the Atlantic to do that, but they haven’t clinched first yet.

Dom Luszczyszyn has slightly different numbers today, with the Leafs at 89% and the Boooins at 78%. He projects the Leafs out to 96 points.

So, today’s question is how big does that number have to be before you stop being nervous?

Poll

How big does the Leafs playoff probability have to get for you to relax?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    I’m totally chill now.
    (236 votes)
  • 18%
    It needs to remind you of Wayne Gretzky for me to calm down.
    (225 votes)
  • 54%
    Four days after the X is there on the standings, I’ll still think it’s going to go wrong.
    (666 votes)
  • 8%
    I called them making the playoffs back before Babcock was even hired, I’m just that good.
    (102 votes)
1229 votes total Vote Now