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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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Talk about being between the classic rock and hard place! Damned if they do - and damned if they don't.

Making the playoffs is not impossible - but then again most unlikely as each of the teams ahead of them in standings would all have to start losing at the same rate in order for the Leafs to catch - and then pass - them. That includes Boston, Buffalo, the Rangers, and Philadelphia who, you think, soon have to come out of their recent funk. Likely starting tonight against the Senators.

Having said that, could the Leafs survive in the Eastern Conference playoffs should they make it? If there was a clearly dominant team in the East I'd say emphatically "no." But there isn't. All have shortcomings which put them well below the Cup favourites Anaheim, Detroit, and maybe Dallas and San Jose, although I'm not convinced that either of those last two are real contenders.

The thing is, if the Leafs DO make the playoffs (and wouldn't it be ironic if it were the Senators who fell right out of the Top 8 to make room for them?), and even go deep, it doesn't do much for their future. They still have those hefty contracts awarded to McCabe, Kubina, Tucker, and Blake and none among them are expected to get better with age. So, next year, they'd likely be faced with the same struggles.
George O'Leary, 2008-02-28 10:20:46

Enough with the laughs already, who really cares. Mediocre team, bs management. Lets talk about teams who are going to be in, those teams that have a legitimate chance. not this 3 ring circus that continually pushes the las two weeks to give the laugh nation false hope for next year.
tdaaddman, 2008-02-28 10:15:16

When they need to win they lose, when they need to lose they win!
Michael, 2008-02-28 10:02:52

Paul,

There were only 6 teams in 66-67. I think this is a little more improbable.

Leafs will get another 8th to 12th pick and continue to lose for another 10 years.
K Fox, 2008-02-28 10:02:49

leafs could not make the bathroom if they had a bad case of diareaha
nels skaalids, 2008-02-28 09:59:49

Who cares if they make the playoffs.. they'll be out first round. Leafs have no tough guys, mediocre goaltending and ONE guy who we can count on to score. They're not going anywhere.
No more tickets til we get good players, 2008-02-28 09:38:54

As a leaf hater I love the fact the laughs start playing good hockey when the season is lost (still 5 points out after an amazing winning streak, can't keep it up for much longer). It gives the leafs fans hope only to have the rug pulled out at the last minute-again. For you see these annoying, arrogant fans deserve nothing better than to suffer. You're running out of "legends" to hold ceremonies for fast.
Matt in Ott, 2008-02-28 09:25:11

While nobody wants to see the team deliberately lose, it would be in the Leafs' best interest to finish in the bottom 5 of the NHL.

They need to get a really good draft pick this summer.

Fletcher made it clear after the trade deadline that there will be major changes this summer, so that's a good sign.

Fletcher also picked up a 2nd, 3rd and 5th round pick this year and a 5th next year, so the Leafs have to make good choices when they draft this summer.
gordholio, 2008-02-28 08:29:34

Have people been smoking illegal drugs? The leafs wont make the playoffs this year, next year, or the year after that. They wont even have a cup worthy team within ten years. Its not that I dont cheer for them.... but it really is a lost cause
Bill R, 2008-02-28 08:26:25

Do you think it actually matters to these turds??? 40 years of mediocrity has been totally accepted and expected by all of us idiots who keep buying tickets and the rest of the crap that has made this team the most valuable NHL franchise. This is in no way to say that they are the best, have the best policies, or have nay desire to make the playoffs. After all....why should they? We keep supporting them as they are.
True Blue, 2008-02-28 07:30:46

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