Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

Last night the St. Louis Blues were a bunch of jerks and lost to the Florida Panthers, and now those Panthers are one point behind the Maple Leafs for that final Atlantic Division playoff spot. The pressure is mounting on the Leafs following the disastrous California road trip; they’re really missing those five points they lost to some of the worst teams in the league.

It’s Tuesday so there’s a big batch of games that we need to keep our eyes on, and as usual we need to ask “How does this affect the Leafs?”

Games that do not affect the Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens at Nashville Predators - 7PM
Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils - 7PM
Ottawa Senators at Anaheim Ducks - 10PM

Two if these games feature an Eastern Conference team that is out of the playoffs against a Western Conference team. No impact on the Leafs.

The other is the Penguins taking on the bottom feeding Devils. The Penguins have 84 points - six ahead of the Leafs - and have their own battle going on with the Philadelphia Flyers for Metro Division standings.

Games that do affect the Maple Leafs

Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers
7PM - NBCSN, Sportsnet, NESN, NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Bruins are six points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, so cheering for this game once again comes down to your preferred playoff opponent. You want the Bruins? Cheer for the Flyers. Lightning? Cheer for no one.

Cheer for: There are no winners in this game.

Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings
7:30PM - Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Carolina

We have the hapless Red Wings taking on the Hurricanes who are tied in the standings with the Leafs. The Hurricanes are hanging on to the final Wild Card playoff spot, and have two games in hand on the Leafs.

Cheer for: A Miracle in Detroit.

New York Rangers at Dallas Stars
8:30PM - Fox Sports South West, MSG 2

The Rangers are four points back of that final Wild Card spot, and have one game in hand on the Leafs. It’s hard to make up even four points at this point in the season, but the Leafs need all the help they can get.

Cheer for: The real Texas Rangers to defeat Tex’s Rangers.

New York Islanders at Vancouver Canucks
10:00PM - Sportsnet Pacific, MSG+

The Islanders are tied in points with the Leafs and Hurricanes, and like Carolina, they have two games in hand on the Leafs. If the Canucks can continue to perform above expectations in this game it would be a great help.

Cheer for: The team that would never cheer for the Leafs. No, the other one.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - TVA Sports, TSN4, Sun Sports

The Leafs are coming off a 0-2-1 road trip against some of the easiest opponents they’d face, and now we get a potential round one preview against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Cheer for: I’m disgusted I’d need to tell you.

Now, the news.

The Sharks may have to play a couple games in an empty arena, or at a neutral site. Saskatoon is being bandied about as a potential host.

In case you missed it yesterday, Katya looked at Nick Robertson’s season:

Nick Robertson’s race to make OHL history

MLHS does their transcription thing:

Sheldon Keefe on Morgan Rielly's return: "The biggest thing for me, at this time of year especially, is just his voice and his presence around the team" | Maple Leafs Hotstove

Over at Raw Charge, Lauren Kelly looks at the OHL’s latest exceptional status player.

How Shane Wright’s stellar rookie season restored faith in the CHL’s ‘exceptional status’ process

Some people are not happy about how they’ll get generic quotes now.

NHL to close down locker rooms, starting with tomorrow’s games

Enjoy your day everyone!