Here they come lead by their knight in shining armour Vesa Toskala. Maple leafs fans haven't been treated to something like this since Cujo pulled on a blue and white jersey. If JFJ did ANYTHING right in his time as Leafs GM it CERTAINLY would be bringing in Toskala. Even with being saddled with Bell's 2 mil/2yr deal the Toskala aquisition was just what the Leafs needed.
Wow is all I can say on this Saturday night classic. We all know the story.. 2 goals, 41 seconds, 4th straight win over the northern foe.. 3 point game in Montreal leads to 4 point deficit. Here's what I have to say to all the non-believers out there (and that DOES include Ek's damn virtual standings.. those standings are as far off as the NHL refferies are btw.. in MY opinion ;P).. IF, and that's a big IF, but... IF the Leafs run the board... and that would be to entertain the thought that a team that hasn't won 6 in a row all season, can in fact win 6 in a row. Which will have been a 9 game streak as they are currently on a 3 game visit to the W column. IF they could do that however, lets disgres..
The Florida panthers are likely going to lose at least one of their final 7 games right? Probably. Perhaps they will run the board and make a storied trip to the playoffs just as the Leafs are trying to, but, also as in the Leafs case, the odds are heavily against it. So, Florida will in fact (by the odds) lose one of their final games and seeing as the Leafs won ALL games they would pass them by at LEAST that 2 points that they dropped in that one game.. The leafs would have beaten the Sabres in their final meeting on route to what would have been a 9 game win streak heading into a playoff birth so the Sabres will be at least a point back of the buds. The Caps are a wild card because as I said in an earlier blog, they are dangerous. The Caps have 6 games left and would have to lose 2 for the leafs to have any chance of passing them. 4 of those games are against the Avs and Wild though. Then, there sit the Bruins.. The Leafs have a home and home against them, they would have won those 2 games (and wouldnt have a chance if they lost even one of them) thus placing them tied with the Bruins for 8th IF Boston didn't lose any of the remainder of their games. The win column again becomes scarey to the Leafs although they would have an additional 6 wins to add should all these stars align as said. Right? "Leafs Slide Into 8th Spot" isn't that what Howard's going to be writing in 2 weeks time as the first place Canadiens try to figure out how they're going to beat the Leaf team that dismantled them TWICE in the final 8 days of the regular season. Maybe, maybe not... but wouldn't it be a wild ride.
In the Leafs remaining 6 games they see the Sens (who incidentally, they've owned of late) the red hot Habs twice, the Sabres and then the Bruins in that home and home.(not in that order)
The hill is steep. But wasn't it steep when Sundin went down? How about when Antropov and Colaiacovo jumped on the injury train. Was the hill not quickly becoming increasingly hard to climb with the Sabres and Sens in a back to back. The Leafs won both of those games. The depleted, 50% Marlie lineup hasn't missed a beat. The Blue and White WILL NOT DIE. That's a little dramatic, I apologise, but you get the point. This team just seems to will its way to victory. And as difficult and far fetched as EVERYONE says it is that the Leafs will make it into post season play, the closer they get to making it.
Hal Gill, before being traded said it best.. "It'd make a pretty good story, coming all the way from last to make it in."
You heard it hear.