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Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: One last push

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who as of last night confirmed their spot in the 2016-17 Stanley Cup playoffs, have one final game to play today in this wholly irregular season.

Here’s what has to be the best quote of the day, from Morgan Rielly:

At the unusual start time of 6 p.m. on a Sunday night, the Leafs will face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in game 82 of 82. And though it won’t affect whether there will be playoff hockey in Toronto this year, it does have potentially huge implications on how far this team will be able to go this spring.

If the Leafs come out of this game with one point (or two), it’s Ottawa who they’ll play in the first round. None, and it’s Washington. While it doesn’t carry the same weight as last night’s game, those are some decent stakes if we’ve ever seen them heading into the final day. Winning tonight really could be the difference between a playoff series victory and well, a much longer road to a playoff series victory.

The Maple Leafs

Defensive Pairings
Morgan Rielly
Morgan Rielly
Connor Carrick
Connor Carrick
Jake Gardiner
Jake Gardiner
Nikita Zaitsev
Nikita Zaitsev
Matt Hunwick
Matt Hunwick
Roman Polak
Roman Polak

Kasperi Kapanen for Hall of Fame? Why not.

Nothing surprising in tonight’s lineup really. Here’s to Jake Gardiner’s feet being a little more lucky today.

The Blue Jackets

Defensive Pairings
Gabriel Carlsson
Gabriel Carlsson
Seth Jones
Seth Jones
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson
David Savard
David Savard
Kyle Quincey
Kyle Quincey
Markus Nutivaara
Markus Nutivaara

Zach Werenski and Ryan Murray are the most notable injuries for the CBJ. Other than that; it’s a strong lineup that’s earned their place in the standings this season.

Between the Pipes

Rookie goalie Joonas Korpisalo faces off against former Blue Jacket Curtis McElhinney. He’s carrying a .902 save percentage this season in 13 games.

Where to watch

The game will be on Sportsnet tonight. You can breathe now, the Leafs are in the playoffs.

  • Stan Smith

    I heard Torts went ballistic over the Jackets effort yesterday. While it is a nothing game for the Jackets tonight, I still think they might try to rough up the Leafs a bit just to make Torts happy. Hopefully the Leafs don’t bite, play their own game, and let the refs handle any of the funny stuff. A renewed battle of Ontario would be great to see.

  • Chelmsford Leafs

    One Last Push – sums up the situation in Chelmsford (UK) now. Won the league and cup, 8-3 down in the second leg of Play Offs final to the dreaded Invicta Dynamo.
    Told my friend in Toronto to expect a visit over Easter…..

  • DukesRocks

    Padding the stats… Things to look for in tonight’s games:
    Mathews, has 69 points, would be nice to break 70 pt barrier.
    Marner has 19 goals, if he can get 20 that would give the Leafs 6, 20 goals scorer.
    Bozak has 18 goals, hopefully can get to 20.
    Brown and Zaitsev are a point out of top 10 scoring for rookies. That would give the Leafs 5 in the top 10.
    Nylander is one assist shy of 40.