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Can the Leafs reel in the last playoff spot?
Sat, March 22, 2008

The Leafs lose the easy ones but win the tough ones.

After shedding three players at the NHL trade deadline, the Leafs have 20 games to close the gap on 8th place in the East, but will need some help.

Can the Leafs perform the improbable and reel in a playoff spot?



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239 Comments

Making the playoffs? Maybe.

Going anywhere but maybe past the first round? Doubtful.

If the Sens are in first place at the start and Toronto has 8th, who knows. Always good series between them and always 50-50.
someone, 2008-02-28 17:10:49

One more thing for you Roy, Minnesota finished 12 games under .500 that year, not 3. Also, the only other team in their division who did worse that year...... your Leafs at 23 games under .500
Big Bad Bruin, 2008-02-28 16:38:46

uh no!!!

what a stupid friggen question, the leafs have no hope of making the stanley cup in the next 10 years, tre leafs players don't try ...tey play for tradition not to make there own sort of decision ...lets start focusing out west where real hockey is played not the crap thats played in the boardroom like in toronto.
JIMF, 2008-02-28 16:24:53

You people are truly delusional! The Leaf's have no hope of making the playoffs, and if by a miracle they did, they will be swept in the first round. And just an FYI for Roy, in 1991, Gretzky and Coffey were playing in LA. You Toronto folks love your buds, and apparently your smoking your BC Bud too.
Big Bad Bruin, 2008-02-28 15:48:38

The Oliers still had Gretzky in 1991, eh Roy?
Bob Gainey, 2008-02-28 15:37:31

Remember 1991, and Bob Gainey's first coaching job, with Minnesota? They finished 3 games under .500, and had to win their last 8 games in a row to make the playoffs. There were two teams in the east who had a better record, but failed to play in the post season because the eastern conference was so much stronger than the west that year. What did the Stars do? First they dumped the league champions, who were the Chicago Blackhawks that year. Then they took out the number two team overall, - the Saint Louis Blues. Then they dumped the defending Stanley Cup champions from Edmonton who still had Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, and all the other superstars. The wheels didn't come off until game four of the final series against Pittsburgh, and the Stars lost in 6. Once in a long while an "expert" will accidentally make an accurate prediction, but the one thing all this posturing proves conclusively is that no one knows what is going to happen in the playoffs. It doesn't matter how well you played all season. All that matters is how good are you when the post season starts. If the Leafs can get it together, and get into it, I like their chances.
Roy, 2008-02-28 14:31:54

Now that they don't have a Montreal Canadian fan running the team they certainly are improved
Gordon, 2008-02-28 13:28:23

yes, they still has a chance and they have to go for it. if they thank the season they will lose all my respect.

the most annoying thing is are the "fans" like popsicle, who i guess didn't even now about the hockey team in ottawa for 15 years and now he can't shut up abiut them... at least leafs fans are not fear-weather fans like you in ottawa.
Peter, 2008-02-28 13:11:06

Of course they can make the playoffs. When you have the greatest player to ever play the game on your team, how can you possibly fail? We're watching hockey history ... the Leafs were 29th and counted out and ridiculed, even by many of their fans, who wanted the team broken up and rebuilt. Instead, we are witnessing one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, something you will be able to tell your grandchildren about. You will be able to amaze them with stories of how you were there when the Leafs valiantly came back and won the 2008 Stanley Cup. It seems that Mats and the Fab Five knew what they were doing when they decided not to waive their no trade clauses. Since it was John Ferguson who built this team, will the Leafs be nice enough to invite him back to be part of the Stanley Cup celebrations?
Buddy from Cape Breton, 2008-02-28 12:39:40

Wayne, you say "If you do the math they can still make the playoffs .." and I'm not about to refute that. Mathematically, it's still possible.

But let's look at the math and show the percentage they need to play at over the remaining games left in order to reach 90 points (which seems to be the cut-off this year as opposed to 92 last year) - and compare it to the teams in front of them.

Not counting Washington (their best bet is to catch Carolina for the Division title rather than 8th), the Leafs (currently playing at exactly .500) would need to finish at a .735 pace to get to 90. The two right above them also currently out of the playoff picture, the Isles (.523 so far) and Flyers (.548) need to play .639 and .553 respectively.

Those currently in 6th to 8th, Boston (playing .581). Rangers (.563) and Sabres (.555) need to play the rest of the way at .450, .500 and .528 respectively to stay in the Top 8.

Now, looking at the math, which of those 3 is/are going to go into the tank and open the door for one or two of those now 9th to 12th? And which of the two now in 9th and 10th are going to collapse completely down the stretch?

Vegas would give you pretty good odds against them NOT making it.
George O'Leary, 2008-02-28 12:31:51

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