It’s an exciting time to be a Leafs fan right now. After the All-Star Break, the Leafs have gathered 22 of a possible 32 points to put them 4 points back of the 8th place Carolina Hurricanes. In true Toronto fashion, they’re keeping playoff hopes alive and well through the beginning of March. In years past, they’ve usually slumped during march and just missed the playoffs by one or two points.
For example, remember that last game of the season in 2006-2007 versus the Habs? The Leafs–if they won–could knock the Habs into 9th place, but 8th wouldn’t be secured until the Devils vs. Islanders game the next day. The Devils had to win in order for the Leafs to maintain the 8th and last playoff spot. The Leafs won that game, but alas the Devils lost in OT, knocking the Leafs out of the playoffs for certain and cementing the Devils’ place on Leafs Nation’s black list. The fact that the Leafs often put their playoff fate in other teams’ hands is probably the reason why Leafs fans are all developing ulcers and/or insurmountable bar tabs. It’s very stressful to say the least.
Regardless, the Leafs have been trolling the league this past month. This was a team most had given up upon. They were the laughing stock of the entire league, none more so than Phil Kessel. Kessel was chosen last during the All Star Game. No one wanted him, not even most Leafs fans. Alex Ovechkin even tweeted a picture of Kessel being the last one to be picked. Since then, Kessel has been on fire. In the last 5 games, he has 9 points, 4 of which are goals. In fact, he is now 15th on the goal scoring chart. Ovechkin, is 19th. Who’s having the last laugh now, OV?
Again, the Leafs have given Leafs Nation a reason to hope, but I’m wondering if it’s worth getting our hopes up for a blue and white post-season? In order to achieve such a goal, the Leafs would have to do no worse than 12-5-0 for the remainder of the regular season, and hopefully get some help in the form of Canes, Sabres or Rangers losses. Is this possible? The way they’ve been playing lately, yes. Will this happen? Recent history is against them, but one can only hope. That brings be back to my first question–is it even worth raising our hopes? My answer is that it depends. It depends on whether you side with history and years past when thisÃ‚Â behaviorÃ‚Â had dashed Leafs Nation’s hopes. Or it depends on whether you believe in this current team and their amazing chemistry as of late. I side with hope, where do you stand?
All stats from nhl.com