February 23 2017 12:01PM
The Leafs pull back into the ACC tonight, looking to extend their winning streak to two games after a nailbiter two nights ago against the Winnipeg Jets.
We're at the game 60 mark and the Leafs are currently just two points away from tying their season total of 69 points from last season. That's an increase of 0.29 points per game, which is quite an accomplishment by itself.
While the games won't clinch or eliminate Toronto from the playoffs just yet, you can bet we'll be checking the standings every night from here until the rest of the season.
February 21 2017 12:33PM
Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY SPORTS
As you probably recall (but maybe not! It's been a wild year), Patrik Laine netted three goals against Toronto that game on October 19th, which the Maple Leafs led 4-0 and then lost in OT. Laine scored the overtime winner and gave extra juice to what's been a very, very interesting Calder race this season.
Auston Matthews currently has 28 goals and 21 assists in 58 games, while Patrik Laine has 28 goals and 24 assists in 54 games.
Oh, and both their teams are in the thick of the playoff hunt!
The Leafs sit one point back of the Boston Bruins for the final wildcard spot in the East... while the Winnipeg Jets sit one point back of Calgary for the final wildcard spot in the West.
Long story short, it's a crucial game on both sides.
February 11 2017 08:03PM
On a night where the Leafs were looking to separate themselves 9 points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres at home, the visitors wouldn't go down lightly.
Stepping on the gas pedal early and coasting into a victory, the Sabres came out by a 3-1 score on Saturday night at the ACC.
February 09 2017 08:37PM
Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Now thoroughly in the mix of the playoff push, the Leafs are in need of just about every point they can get.
They accomplished just half of that mission on Thursday, losing 2-1 in overtime to the St. Louis Blues.
February 04 2017 12:40PM
When I was younger, I had a yearly habit of keeping physical track of the Leafs' point totals on the season, crossing off each point they'd earned on a list heading all the way up to 95 immediately following each game. 95 was the number, I figured, that would undoubtedly guarantee a playoff berth for Toronto. (It's been accurate in 4 of the last 5 full seasons in the Eastern conference, save for a 2014-15 96-point Bruins team who saw themselves on the outside.)
The countdown was a nice visual reminder of both the pain of being a Leafs fan, but also a way to stay optimistic about the team's postseason chances. After 2 or 3 years of unsuccessfully doing that in the late 2000s, I figured if I wasn't cursing the team, at the very least it wasn't exactly helping matters.
59% of the way through the season, the Leafs are 57% of the way there to that 95-point benchmark.
And if there's ever been a time when it's been harder to figure out exactly what the Leafs are, it's probably right now. After a stretch of hot play, the 3-game losing streak has some fans on edge.
Just about everyday, there's the conversation going on: Are these Leafs good enough for a playoff berth?
Well, it's natural to be optimistic, but it's also quite fair to be skeptical of the Leafs right now.