Playoffs are coming, don't worry
Don’t worry, even if the Toronto Maple Leafs lose all of their remaining four games, they can still make the playoffs.
It’s a sad truth, considering they’ve had two chances to clinch and failed miserably each time this week. (I know, I know, the Winnipeg Jets won so the Leafs winning wouldn’t have mattered, but still, it’s been a sad few games.)
Our only solace is knowing we can still make it even if we lose. We just need the Jets to only gain a maximum of four points in their last four games.
That would leave us in eighth with 53 points and the Jets in ninth with 52. But that probably won’t happen; the Jets – on a five-game winning streak – have been looking good.
So, how to turn our boys around? A quick look at some stats may help…
First, we need more shots. We’ve been outshot 107-64 in our last three games. That’s almost a 2-1 margin. We’re 1-2 in those games, but should be 0-3 (thanks, Reimer).
Second, we need more forechecking, more time spent in other teams’ zones getting shots! Those nasty shot statistics also include spurts of up to 18 minutes without a shot and four periods with five shots or less.
Third, we need to hang onto the puck to get all this going.
We’ve had 53 giveaways in the last three games compared to 31 by the opposition. More than half of those came in one game!, 27 of them against the New York Islanders on Thursday, a game we looked set to win in the first minutes.
Quickly up 2-0 over the Islanders, we then collapsed, failing on all three above points.
But we can erase this horrible week so far by continuing our domination of the Ottawa Senators this season. We’re 3-1 against the Sens so far, with 14 goals for and 7 against.
We visit Ottawa Saturday, for the battle of Ontario on Hockey Night in Canada. If that, plus another chance to clinch, doesn’t get the boys amped up to right the ship, then fans really do have something to worry about.
Go Leafs Go. Lose Jets Lose (to the NYI on Saturday). Cheers.