The Maple Leafs took on the Bruins last night, the confirmed Presidents' Trophy winners with the best regular season record in the league. They made it all the way through the game to overtime but then lost. Here's our full recap:
Despite the Leafs losing in OT, they picked up that one standings point which was enough to seal their home-ice advantage for the playoffs. This means games #1 and 2 of the series will be here in Toronto.
The City has already started preparations for the playoffs and there will be sporadic closures of Bremner Blvd. in the lead up, culminating in full closures of the Bremner/York intersection as early as today for building stages and placing crowd control barricades down for the events for both the Leafs and the Raptors who will start their playoffs around the same time.
The first date for the NHL playoffs is Monday April 17, but the Leafs schedule isn't final yet, so we will have to wait to see if they play game #1 on that day or the next.
Speaking of our future playoff opponents, they lost Tanner Jeannot last night, and judging by how his leg bends in a manner that a leg is not supposed to bend, he may not be around for this series. Do not watch this if you are squeamish.
On the other side of the Eastern Conference, the Hurricanes, Devils, and Rangers have clinched their playoff spots, so now all that's open are the two Wild Card slots which are still in open contention between three teams, with the Sabres as a fourth with an outside chance thanks two having two games in-hand.
The Leafs face the Panthers on Monday where they could very well be the spoilers or saviours of their season.
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner will be announced shortly after 6:00 p.m. ET this evening at an event in Tampa Bay. The Maple Leafs have had draft picks from the NCAA who have been finalists for the award in the past, including noted lawnmower-tossing enthusiast Matt Frattin, but none of those nominated have actually won in recent times, or perhaps ever (this has proved difficult to research), but tonight could see Matthew Knies win. Knies is widely expected to formally leave his university any day now and officially turn pro by signing an NHL Entry Level Contract with the Leafs.
But first they have to finish their series in the Frozen Four and oh by the way, Matt Knies isn't the only Leafs prospect on the Golden Gophers; Mike Koster is there too and proving his worth.
The University of Minnesota will play Quinnipiac University in the semi-final on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET in Tampa. Here's our post with more info on what the Leafs could get in Knies:
It's Easter weekend, and I hope you all have a good one. There's a large number of NHL matinee games this weekend to sit back and watch, including an early 12:30 p.m. start where you can see the Sabres eliminating themselves from the playoffs by losing to the Hurricanes.
Have a good Friday, everyone.
Update! www.pensionplanpuppets.com should take you to the right place as of now!