Frank Sinatra crooned New York, New York, but never came up with a signature song for Montreal.
The Maple Leafs' two games in New York this week will close out their road schedule and if you believe they can get by the last-place Philadelphia Flyers at home tomorrow, then getting at least a split Thursday against the New York Islanders will fulfil predictions that the playoff chase will come down to Game 82 on Saturday against the Monteal Canadiens. The Leafs are a point behind Montreal after last night's 7-2 loss to the Rangers with three to play.
Coach Paul Maurice did not make a lineup change last night and indicated this current 20 could stay together through the week.
"If we can stay healthy and if we keep winning," the coach added, in qualifying his comments. Maurice was critical of the fourth line of John Pohl, Yanic Perreault and Bates Battaglia on Saturday, but no one shone in last night.
The Rangers, who play the Islanders tomorrow, are trying to avoid a repeat of last spring, when they lost five straight at the end of the regular season, were passed by the New Jersey Devils and were swept in the first round by the same club.
"We're looking at (the Leafs) as our first playoff game," Rangers' forward Sean Avery told the New York Post before last night.
The Islanders have been in panic mode since losing goaltender Rick DiPietro to a concussion. They've lost four straight and though winger Ryan Smyth is back, a loss against the Rangers will just about kill their season.
KARBERLE THE SHOOTER
While Mats Sundin gets all the attention whenever the Maple Leafs go into overtime -- and rightly so with a club record 14 goals in the extra period -- don't overlook Tomas Kaberle.
The defenceman's overtime goal on Saturday gave him two this season, six total in regular season and one in the 2003 playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers. Five of Kaberle's goals have come after March 15.
Not bad for a guy everyone keeps saying won't shoot enough.
"I'm just happy we won," Kaberle insisted.