What only one week ago looked like a near-certain playoff berth for the Maple Leafs is now questionable once again. It’s a critical time for the Leafs to cement their playoff berth; the same one the Florida Panthers are desperate to take from them.

The three straight losses in a row to the California teams, combined with the Panthers clobbering the Canadiens last night, has created some panic out there. It’s not justified. While it’s once again a race for that last spot guaranteed to an Atlantic Division team, it still doesn’t change the fact the Leafs sit in that playoff berth and the Panthers have a very difficult pat to get them out of it. This was a frustrating road trip, but it’s not time to panic. The Coronavirus is a more legitimate worry for the Leafs than the Panthers catching up to them.

For now.

This week is the real big one; the Lightning on Tuesday, the Predators on Thursday, and the big game against the Bruins on Saturday. One week from today is when you want to evaluate this team. If they lose all those games, then you can start to panic.

But! Even then there’s the Wild Card playoff spots which are also opening up, and the Leafs could get in that way by kicking out a team like the Blue Jackets or the Islanders (which would be very fun until you realise that might mean the Leafs wind up playing the Bruins in the first round again.)

In short, relax.

Everything will be fine with Cody Ceci back, right?

The Marlies played the Syracuse Crunch on Friday night, winning 5-2, that again Saturday night where they lost 2-1. The Marlies one goal Saturday was by Teemu Kivihalme, and it was pretty good.

We’ll have a recap of the Marlies games out later. In the mean time, here’s more news and links for you.


Back to Excited Episode 96: Time Machines and Bad Playoff Ideas - Arvind and Fulemin
We work off some angst by thinking about how it could have all been so different.

IIHF cancels 2020 Women’s World Hockey Championships set for Halifax/Truro this month - Katya
On the heels of a host of cancellations of lesser tournaments, this unwelcome news comes today.

Other News

Roberto Luongo’s #1 was retired last night by the Panthers.

The Bruins and the Lightning had one crazy game. Here’s a stretch where even one of the Bolts coaches was given a penalty.

I am including this clip only to let you know that the Florida Everblades played their game yesterday as the Florida Skunk Apes.

In case you are unfamiliar with the term:

The skunk ape, also known as the swamp cabbage man, swamp ape, stink ape, Florida Bigfoot, Louisiana Bigfoot, myakka ape, swampsquatch, and myakka skunk ape, is a humanoid creature said to inhabit the U.S. states of Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas, although reports from Florida are most common. It is named for its appearance and for the unpleasant odor that is said to accompany it.

Are you panicked?

Yes I am, Kent.39
But seriously, actually, yes. This not a good situation. The Leafs lost their cushion in California and I don’t want this stress right now.106
I’m not in a panic. The reason? Auston Matthews.25
I’m not in a panic. The reason? William Nylander.51
I’m in a panic, but it’s because I’m pretty sure the Skunk Ape is after for me.50