THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Toronto Maple Leafs needed to earn six points from last week’s games and they only mustered four. The week began with a 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting, but the Leafs rebounded with a 3-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. As I had predicted last Sunday, the Florida Panthers would not be an easy opponent and they proved it by thumping the Leafs 4-0. Toronto finished out the week with a surprising 5-2 win against a Boston Bruins squad that still looks like it could at least make the Eastern Conference Finals.
THE PATH TO 90 POINTS: The Buffalo Sabres, who currently occupy eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, are on pace to finish the season with 90 points. The Leafs currently have 74 points with 9 games to play. To get to 90 points and to have any shot at a playoff berth the Leafs must go 8-1-0 or 7-0-2.
Realistically the season will be over when they face the Montreal Hooligans** on April 9th.
THE COMING WEEK: The Leafs have three road games on tap starting with a stop Tuesday night in Minnesota to play the Wild. The Leafs will visit Denver to play the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night and then end their road trip in Detroit to take on the Red Wings. The first two games are against teams that are very beatable. Minnesota is 2-6-2 in their last 10 games, and the Avalanche are a pitiful 1-8-1 in their last 10. The Red Wings are 5-3-2 and represent the one team left on the schedule that the Leafs would most likely lose to if they indeed go 8-1-0 the rest of the way.
I predict the Leafs will go 2-1-0 on this road trip. Since this week’s schedule is against Western Conference teams, the good news is if they play in a “three-point” game and either win or lose in overtime or a shootout the extra point won’t hurt them in the standings.