Loss to Jets crushes Maple Leafs' playoff hopes

Maple Leafs' Mason Raymond dumps the puck past the Jets' Jim Slater at the Air Canada Centre last...

Maple Leafs' Mason Raymond dumps the puck past the Jets' Jim Slater at the Air Canada Centre last night. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:23 PM ET

In what could be their last game this season at the Air Canada Centre, the Maple Leafs put on a fitting year-end pageant.

Call it Fan Depreciation Night, a display of their various foibles, a microcosm of 2013-14. Their small spurts of high end hockey were undermined by brutal defensive play. Coach Randy Carlyle has called it “mind-boggling” at times, but his problems getting the Leafs to fix it or be better motivated in a playoff race, puts part of the blame on his lap. Many among the 19,000-plus let the Leafs hear their frustration in the final minutes.

Toronto had the door open to leap-frog the Columbus Blue Jackets for at least temporary possession of a wildcard spot in a game against the eliminated Winnipeg Jets. But Toronto is now a step closer to joining the long list of Canadian teams on the golf course after the Jets out-muscled and out-hustled them in a 4-2 game.


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