When the Leaf Nation was up in arms last week after a marquee player wasn't acquired at the trade deadline and the team had lost back-to-back games to Montreal and Buffalo, some scoffed at my suggestion that there was no reason to panic.
It wasn't that I had spectacular confidence in the Leafs to nail down a playoff berth.
It was just that looking around at the teams they were competing against, it was clear there were no powerhouses among them, no squads similar to the '79 Habs or '02 Detroit Red Wings.
Well, here we are a few days later, and the Leafs have only won a single game yet are still in a promising position.
Why? Well, mostly because the Carolina Hurricanes are in serious danger of becoming only the third Stanley Cup champion to miss the post-season entirely after winning it all the year before.
Moreover, with Edmonton already out of it, it would be the first time in league history that both Cup finalists failed to qualify for the playoffs the next season if the Canes can't get their act together, and soon.
A 3-1 loss to Atlanta on Sunday left the Canes two points ahead of the Leafs, but with the Leafs holding two games in hand.
Montreal, struggling mightily these days, is right there, and so too rather suddenly are the Boston Bruins.
The Thrashers and Islanders appear to be on the verge of separating themselves from the pack a little bit, which may mean the final weeks of the season may come down to whether the Leafs, Habs, Bruins or even New York Rangers can catch the Canes.
And really, why not the Leafs? They're not great, but they're as good as those other clubs.
Carolina has stumbled largely because of goaltending - playoff hero Cam Ward has sat and watched John Grahame play four of the last five games - injuries to players like Cory Stillman and Frantisek Kaberle and surprisingly moderate production from third-year man Eric Staal. Staal does have 26 goals, but he's not been the force he was a year ago.
Then again, a year ago the Canes had Doug Weight and Mark Recchi around to help the kids, Matt Cullen up front for some speed and Aaron Ward to anchor the defence.
It's a very different team in many ways. The power play has been awful, the Canes are in the bottom half of the league both for goals-against and goals scored and Rod Brind'Amour has taken more serious hits this season possibly than in any previous year of his career.
The Canes don't play until Friday, which means the Leafs will make up their games-in-hand against Washington and Ottawa by then.
Which means they could be two points ahead of Carolina. At the worst, they must be tied, you'd have to think, or Paul Maurice's squad is going to be running out of time.
It also makes a Leafs-Canes clash three weeks tomorrow at the ACC look like a potentially tasty piece of business.