Maple Leafs looking West to get to East promised land

Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland celebrates his overtime goal against the Edmonton Oilers on...

Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland celebrates his overtime goal against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. (NICK TURCHIARO/USA Today)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

TORONTO - The Maple Leafs’ road to playoffs in the East this year can once again be simplified by giving themselves a smooth ride through the West.

With two extra teams on this side of the Mississippi under re-alignment, the Eastern board should be a traffic jam from October to April (once the Metro Division gets its October wake-up call). The best way through or around the gridlock, especially the curse of three-point games, is to maximize points against the Western Conference.

Toronto, in the midst of playing 10 Western foes in a 12-game stretch, is gearing up for the Minnesota Wild coming here Tuesday, with four of its 10 points already claimed from the other side.

Rivalries, and really any kind of familiarity, has been hard to re-establish after last season’s lockout put a wall between the conferences until the Stanley Cup final. But two points mean just as much for teams such as the East-leading Leafs.


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