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Maple Leafs are probably happy they’re in, but they have another game to play.

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The last game of the year is crucial for the Leafs’ chances in the playoffs. What’s the probability of success?

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets
Mitchell Marner greets fans as he takes the ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Leafs won 5-2.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

One hundred percent sure is nice. But there’s another game to play.

That pie is not one blue circle. The outcome of the Leafs’ last game decides something.

Here’s how things stand now:

The Leafs are in third place right now only on the strength of the genuine first tie-breaker, which is games played. If they lose tonight, they are in the wild card spot because Boston holds the next tie-breaker, which is ROW.

Any point, acquired in any way means the Leafs keep third spot and play the Ottawa Senators in the first round. No points means the Leafs play the Washington Capitals in the first round. Canada’s capital city team or America’s? Hmmm. I know what I want.

MoneyPuck has the Leafs at a 65 percent chance to hold that third spot. The reason for that is on this page on the site. The probability calculated that the Leafs will win over the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight is 53%.

Now, here’s the thing. A prediction like that is not made with a crystal ball. The formula that calculates it can’t know if Frederik Andersen is okay, if Columbus will play Sergei Bobrovsky or Joonas Korpisalo, or which way the puck will bounce. The formula is just using seasonal team data and home ice advantage and you can’t calculate desire or guess injuries in advance. No one has ever claimed they could.

Micah McCurdy, before the win last night that clinched the playoffs for the Leafs, posted his points projections:

So he has the Leafs less than one full point behind Boston. But MoneyPuck has the Leafs 1.2 points ahead this morning. It feels like a coin flip. It feels like of all the possible futures, half have the Leafs in Ottawa for their first playoff game and half have them in Washington.

One game. One point is all the Leafs need. I know what I think: just win, baby.

What do you think? Can the Leafs keep Ottawa as their first round opponent with a win tonight?


Who will be the Leafs first round opponent?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    The Battle of Ontario because the Leafs can get a point tonight, no problem.
    (694 votes)
  • 14%
    Columbus won’t let them get anything, so it will be Washington in the first round.
    (156 votes)
  • 20%
    I’m still celebrating and all these numbers are kind of blurry.
    (223 votes)
1073 votes total Vote Now