Maple Leafs' midterm report card

Leafs goalies Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer (Craig Robertson, Toronto Sun)

Leafs goalies Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer (Craig Robertson, Toronto Sun)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:07 AM ET

With 41 down and 41 to go, the Maple Leafs might take the whole season in their quest to return to the playoffs for a second year in a row.

Most consider it miraculous they hold a wild-card spot, tied with the Detroit Red Wings before Monday night. The Leafs spent most of the first half unable to get out of regulation play with a win and on many nights found it challenging to exit their own end at all.

“To this point, we still haven’t played a consistent amount of games,” understated defenceman Cody Franson. “When we get to that point, we’ll find more success.”

For media interview purposes, the Leafs have shied away from excuses as per coach Randy Carlyle’s edicts. But some extenuating circumstances do apply, such as losing the steadying influence of centre David Bolland. That heralded a slew of injuries, while the Leafs faced a demanding schedule which at one point resembled a murderers’ row of Stanley Cup contenders, all in short order.


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