the race

Steve says:

Well..Draft day has come and gone...Fletch made a few deals...mostly getting rid of cap hits and trading them for draft picks in the next couple of seasons...
I like the move...with the NTC 5 not waiving, I expect some action this summer...McCabe in the minors perhaps? A Raycroft buyout...man I wish we could stop paying goalies after they leave us (see Belfour).

And since it would appear as though the remaining vets and the Marlies callups have no plans to throw in the towel, I figured it was time to take a look at what needs to happen to make the big show...

So i'll start following the race again to see how close we get to that magical 8th spot...

right now we sit 12th in our conference, but we have been playing fantastic hockey...5 wins in the last 6 games...really strong defensive play and some incredible goaltending has given us a chance in every game...and Sundin, ever since declaring his unity with Leaf Nation, has really turned it on and shown everyone what it truly means to carry a team on your back (The Clown could learn a thing or 2)

So...in order to help our position, the following games played tonight require the following outcomes:

Toronto over Tampa
New Jersey over Washington
Montreal over Buffalo
Minnesota over Florida

What would this do? It would allow Toronto to leapfrog over Washington into the 11 spot leaving us 2 points behind NY Islanders and 4 points out of the 8th spot.
sounds good right?
There's a but.


Washington and Buffalo each have 1 game in hand on Toronto, and Philadelphia has 2 games in hand...

so the race is tight....17-ish games left

more updates to follow

Go Leafs


the future

Steve says:

So it seems like we can beat the top teams (Ott, Det, Mtl) but cant seem to muster up enough cahones to take out the teams we actually need to beat if the playoffs are in our future (Buf, NYI).

Thant's ok though, cuz with each loss, we are that much closer to having the #1 draft pick (STAMKOS!!!). And since it appears (for the moment) that Sundin is not actually gonna lift that NTC, then we need to prepare for the worst...and that means losing Sundin to either another team and get nothing for him, or lose Sundin to retirement, or resign Sundin to a big contract in order to keep him over the summer.
those 3 options kinda blow, but that looks like how it will play out.

We do have some other assets to work with however. And at every game now there are more and more scouts out to see our wares. Last night Dallas scouts were in town to watch Blake. They lost to Toronto last summer in a bidding war to get Blake, and now that they can smell blood, they are back in the hunt.
I personally hope Blake stays. Dallas does not have a lot to offer us for him, and he is really starting to become the player I was expecting him to be. I always knew he wouldnt reach that 40 goal plateau again (esp not with this lineup) but I knew he would drive the net hard, take a lot of shots in hopes of rebounds and ...let's face it..the guy is one of the only Leafs who shows up every night.

keep Blake
keep Toskala
keep Moore
figure out the Sundin issue

the rest are up for grabs


another quick look

Steve says:

So it is looking less and less likely that our boys will make the big show. Even with some fantastic efforts against some of the top teams in the league, we just have not been consistent enough throughout the year to really make a good run deep into the playoffs.

I am still on the fence about if they should push hard to make it into that last spot, or if they should coast and regroup with some good picks for next season...
There are too many questions in the air to decide that with the trade deadline fast approaching....

So instead, here's a quick look at tomoroows games and the needed results to help get us closer to that elusive 8th spot...

Car def. Bos (keeps Boston within reach)
Phi def Nyi
Mtl def Tbl
Ott def Buf

I hate having to cheer for Ottawa....but really it helps out the Leafs...or does it?
argh ...my brain!


Ghost town

Steve says:

well..this, like many other Leaf blogs has become a dried up deserted ghost town.

With nothing but negative things to say, it becomes harder and harder to find something to feel good about in Leafland.

Yes there is the draft (Stamkos Stamkos!) and yes we have Trader Cliff at the helm. But finding the silver lining in a 8-0 whipping is really hard to do.

One good thing that happened yesterday is that Fletcher put Woznieski up on waivers. This guy has been a disaster on defence since day one...so it is a good thing that someone finally took him away from Paul Maurice, who for some inexlicable reason, kept putting Woz out there...and at crucial times too!

It looks like Sundin is not planning on waiving his no trade..so that means either he is retiring, or hopes to get signed by another club in the summer, or his hanging them up. I gotta think that going out while the team you have Captained for so long is dredging along at the bottom is not what Mats had in mind.