One of the more under discussed stories to look forward to as the regular season winds down has been how and when will the Leafs officially clinch a playoff spot. This is nothing but a good thing because for one, the Leafs have been a lock to make it all year long. And two, there are more exciting things to talk about right now instead.

Auston Matthews is gunning for Vaive’s record, attempting to score 50 goals in 50 games (whether official or unofficial, it’s still a very exclusive list), and marching his way toward Ovechkin’s 65 right now.

The Leafs, who are sitting on 98 points with 11 games remaining, are two magic numbers away from clearing the New York Islanders (75 points with 12 games remaining) as the ninth team in the East and last one that could mathematically pass them in the standings. Currently, if the Islanders win out the rest of the season and the Leafs lose every game, the Islanders could get 99 points and pass the Leafs. That won’t happen, but it’ll require two points from the Leafs (to reach 100 on the season) to officially put the Islanders behind them for good and clinch a playoff spot. Look tonight for any combination of two points gained or lost by these two teams to clinch things.

For many many many reasons, the easiest outcome tonight is a Leafs win over the Montreal Canadiens. Matthews will probably score, the Leafs will clinch, flowers will bloom, birds will sing, children will play iPad games on the sidewalk.

I’m sure they’ll find a way to screw it up.

Do the Leafs clinch tonight?

Leafs win, life is good323
Yes, but it’s from the Islanders losing56
We don’t get anything nice94

Various Leafs and Branches

Mailbag: Entire Teams Of Auston Matthews And What To Do With Muzzin-Holl | by: Fulemin

Maple Leafs sign Axel Rindell to an ELC | by: Katya

Maple Leafs sign Max Ellis to an ELC | by: Katya

Pontus Holmberg also saw his season end so watch for him to make it way over to the Marlies shortly. He’s already on an ELC so he won’t get a fancy article from us.

Sigh, what could’ve been.

Quebec Minister for Sport Isabelle Charest (yes the three-time Olympian) is putting her foot down on fighting. Her opinion on this issue is at least a little more thoughtful than her views on hijabs.

Owen Power is leaving the NCAA and joining the Buffalo Sabres. Katya has an interesting thread in yesterday’s FTB that covered what type of contract he got and why.

This might be a little biased, but also having watched the Lightning for a while, I can safely say the Panthers are big fans of brawling. Here’s one they had after beating the Sabres. Sam Bennett and Ben Chiarot were in there obviously.