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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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    Toronto Maple Leafs

    jedi17
    jedi17
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    Posts : 10738
    Join date : 2013-02-20

     Toronto Maple Leafs  Empty Toronto Maple Leafs

    Post by jedi17 Sat 25 Mar 2017, 7:27 pm


    Playoff race tightening, tracking the conditionals; Leafs vs Sabres
    March 25, 2017, 10:46 AM ET [313 Comments]
    Mike Augello
    Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
    For the latest Leafs updates or Follow @mikeinbuffalo on Twitter

    The Toronto Maple Leafs pursuit of the playoffs will necessitate them maintaining their current level of performance over the last two weeks of the regular season, as the race for the final two Eastern Conference playoff spots got a little tighter on Friday.

    New York and Tampa Bay both responded to the Leafs 4-2 victory over New Jersey on Thursday with road overtime victories over Pittsburgh and Detroit, moving to within three and four points of Toronto.

    The Leafs are in a much better position after going 4-0-1 and passing by the slumping Boston Bruins (losers of four straight) into third place in the Atlantic Division, but they cannot continue to depend on their pursuers stumbling and must keep piling up the points in the remaining nine games to lock up a post-season berth.

    The quest continues on Saturday in Buffalo, a place where Toronto hopes have been dashed numerous times over the years. The Leafs play their third game in four nights against the Sabres at Key Bank Center, where they have gone 2-17-1 in the last 20 games and 28-62-6-6 all-time.

    The division rival Sabres have struggled in their second season under head coach Dan Bylsma (72 pts, 10 in back of the second wildcard spot) and were unable to overcome a rash of injuries to their blueline and young star Jack Eichel.

    Robin Lehner is expected to get the start for Buffalo (20-23-8, 2.65 GAA, .921 sv%) and Frederik Andersen (30-15-14, 2.64 GAA, .919 sv%) will go for Toronto after backup Curtis McElhinney started the second of back-to-back games against New Jersey.

    The Leafs will be without defenseman Roman Polak (serving the final game of a two-game suspension), but Buffalo will be without top pairing blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen, who was suspended three games for a hit on Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel earlier this week.

    *******

    Two years before the playoff heartbreak of Game 7 in Boston, the Maple Leafs were the biggest fans of the Bruins in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup, because they would get a conditional second round draft pick from the deadline deal for Tomas Kaberle if Boston reached the Final.

    The deal of goaltender Jonathan Bernier to Anaheim last July was the final chapter of the Frederik Andersen trade and essentially the Leafs giving away his $4.15 Million contract after paying Bernier’s $2 Million bonus on July 1.

    The conditional draft pick in the deal (Bernier making 50% or more of the playoff starts for the Ducks in a Stanley Cup win = Anaheim’s 2017 second round pick or losing 50% or more of the playoff starts and losing in the Cup Final = Anaheim’s 2017 third round pick) seemed far-fetched, but the former Leaf has won seven of his last eight starts replacing injured starter John Gibson.

    It is not an impossibility that Randy Carlyle goes with Bernier as his goalie in the post-season and with Anaheim tied for the Pacific Division lead, the Ducks join San Jose and Chicago as the leading candidate to come out of the West.

    One conditional item that appears to be unlikely is the Leafs having to give Columbus a 2017 fifth round pick in the Scott Harrington-Kerby Rychel deal if Harrington were claimed through waivers this season.

    Harrington has been the Blue Jackets roster all season (but has only played 16 games) and last week agreed to a two-year contract extension.

    Toronto also could recoup a 2018 sixth round pick in the Peter Holland deal if Arizona re-signs him, but the former Leaf has only three goals and six assists in 35 games with the Coyotes.

      Current date/time is Fri 12 Apr 2024, 1:25 pm