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The Toronto Maple Leafs sit 10th in the league (5th in the conference) with 43 wins and 95 points in 75 games this season. It's a notable dip from the past where they were 4th in the league the previous two seasons.

Despite being worse this year than before, they'll still make the playoffs. But to officially punch their ticket a few things need to happen.

There are four teams that can still mathematically catch/pass the Leafs for third in the division and the wild card spots before the season ends. Tampa Bay is just two points back after last night's 7-4 win over Montreal and are the only team that can realistically pass the Leafs before the end. They have six games left whereas the Leafs have seven.

The Islanders are next, 12 points back with 6 games left. They would need to sweep their games (specifically at least six in regulation due to the tiebreaker) and see the Leafs get swept in regulation to take the first wild card spot.

Both Washington and Detroit are 13 points back with 7 games left. Washington has the tiebreaker with two more regulation wins at the moment. They can both afford the Leafs to get one loser point before Toronto become impassable. I say impassable as if they aren't already, but once again, we are here for the cold, hard, math of it all!

The Leafs only need to beat two of these teams in the standings to stay in a playoff spot. Any loss by New York puts the Leafs out of reach. A regulation loss or two overtime losses from Washington and Detroit will do that for them, too.

Tonight, Washington plays Carolina and the Red Wings play the Rangers, so the Leafs could very easily see an X next to their name by 9:30pm tonight (tune into our FTB to check). If the 5th and 6th teams in the Metro fail to beat the 1st and 2nd, a Leafs win over the Habs will probably get the playoffs locked in before the Islanders and Predators finish up their game.

If all goes wrong over the next two days, then wins from Buffalo and/or Ottawa could do it as they play the Red Wings and Capitals, respectively.

If this lasts longer than three days, please call a doctor.

Canada beat Finland 4-1 in their opening game at the WWC yesterday. Ella Shelton of PWHL New York got two points for Canada, while Petra Nieminen scored the lone goal for the Finns. Toronto's Emma Maltais got the game-winner.

IIHF - Canada cruises past Finland
Shelton leads Canada to victory

China surprised Japan 3-2 in a shootout, while Germany beat Denmark 5-1 in the other two group stage games. There was an interesting article written about China's women's national team yesterday and how they've brought on fewer dual citizens and instead bringing a team entirely of home-grown players.

IIHF - All change for Team China
Homegrown talent heads roster for this week’s WW return

This was all over the FTB yesterday, but the PWHL has their championship trophy, named after Mark and Kimbra Walter, who are bankrolling the new league.

Something more all over the FTB yesterday was this MLSE news.

With MLSE ownership and teams in flux, Keith Pelley will have hands full in new role
Change is in the air at MLSE and the most tangible example for the moment is the introduction of new CEO Keith Pelley, who’s taking the helm of a company almost certainly headed for transition at the ownership level.

Here's the highlights from the prospects thanks to Brigs. Cowan and the Knights have swept their first round series.

The CHL has decided Ukraine is out of the news enough to allow Russian and Belarusian players back into the league. The Canada/Russia series is a bridge too far, though.

I'm sure it'll work this time!

Akil Thomas got his first career NHL goal last night!

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