Tix being printed, just in case

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

They'll likely wind up in the blue box before the Blue and White use them, but the Maple Leafs have produced 2006 home-game playoff tickets.

"They're being printed as we speak," Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president of business for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., said yesterday. "We'll be hitting the mail in the next few days.

"You never concede anything. Hopefully, with some luck, we get in."

It will take a lot of luck --and maybe an act of God -- to make up the six-point gap in the standings.

But with nine of 10 points in their past five games, the Leafs aren't yet mathematically eliminated. And MLSEL can't wait until the last minute. In fact, it sent out invoices a couple of weeks ago to its thousands of subscribers, requesting a refundable deposit on the first two games.

The Leafs, who haven't missed the playoffs since 1998, are also not yet deviating from their spring routine of making preliminary travel and hotel arrangements for a first-round series, as well as pre-game tailgate parties.

"Owners, players and management, we're all in it together and want to make it in," Anselmi said. "We'll be just as disappointed as the fans if we don't."


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