Skip to content

Longest active playoff drought might be almost over

Apr 12, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT

Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf Getty Images

There’s still eight games left — an opportunity for the Toronto Maple Leafs to pull off a stunning collapse for the second straight season — but right now their entry into the playoffs appears to be all-but inevitable.

They have a 99.7% chance of still being around after April 27, according to the Sports Stats Club. Toronto has a five-point lead on the ninth place Winniepg Jets despite the fact that the Leafs have played in two fewer games.

It’s been a long, painful trip since they last participated in a postseason contest on May 4, 2004. They finished two points shy of a playoff berth in 2006 and then one point short in 2007.

The Leafs got the second overall pick in 2009-10 — only not really because they traded it to Boston before the start of that season as part of the Phil Kessel deal. That addition that might have been all that stood in the way of Toronto finishing dead last in the NHL and thus potentially drafting Taylor Hall instead of the Edmonton Oilers.

After their collapse in 2011-12, Leafs minority owner Lawrence Tanenbaum issued an apology, which led to CBC’s Rex Murphy’s scathing response:

And yet that chapter of the Leafs, led principally by youngsters and players that former GM Brian Burke acquired via trades, are on the brink of putting at least one embarrassing streak to an end. Of course, there’s still the issue of Toronto’s over four-decade old Stanley Cup drought…

Latest Posts
  1. Getzlaf: ‘I was terrible’ in Game 6

    May 27, 2015, 11:47 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf AP

    He wasn’t the only Anaheim player that deserved to be blamed tonight.

  2. Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7

    May 27, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Chicago endured Anaheim’s comeback attempt to win this one.

  3. Video: Goalie interference? Silfverberg bumps Crawford on Stoner goal

    May 27, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT

    Stoner goal

    The Ducks might have caught a break there.

  4. Video: Maroon stays hot in playoffs, gives Ducks hope

    May 27, 2015, 10:08 PM EDT

    Maroon goal

    He has seven goals in 15 playoff games.

  5. Video: Saad comes up short in first frame, opens floodgates in second

    May 27, 2015, 9:46 PM EDT

    Saad goal

    Chicago scored three goals within four minutes.

  6. Kings’ AHL team advances to Calder Cup Final

    May 27, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    Jordan Weal Getty Images

    Jordan Weal has been a big part of Manchester’s success.

  7. Voynov’s wife in counseling, still doesn’t want to testify

    May 27, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzhzjmymgu1y2i3mgyxogjlmddmmte0zdlimze1mwjm AP

    She’s previously been warned that this course could lead to her being found in contempt.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6

    May 27, 2015, 6:06 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzinjawowi5ytdjzgvlogu3zwq0ndm4ywmxndq3zmu2 AP

    Anaheim has a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final tonight.

  9. Ehrhoff likely headed to free agency

    May 27, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT

    Christian Ehrhoff Getty Images

    After just one year in Pittsburgh.

  10. McQuaid camp ‘holding out hope’ to re-sign with Bruins

    May 27, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    One of the many decisions facing new GM Don Sweeney.

  11. As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial

    May 27, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

    Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final goes Friday at MSG.

  12. Robinson calls DeBoer ‘a good choice’ for Sharks

    May 27, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT

    New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game One Getty Images

    The two men worked together for a season in New Jersey.

  13. Etem likely to draw back in tonight versus Chicago

    May 27, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Tomas Fleischmann likely on his way out.

  14. Foley moves company to Vegas, hopes NHL sees him as ‘local owner’

    May 27, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    Hockey Vision Las Vegas News Conference To Announce NHL Season Ticket Drive Getty Images

    “We’re going to be embedded in this community.”

  15. Hitch thinks ‘goaltending is the least of our problems’

    May 27, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    Jake Allen AP

    “I get the fact there were three goals that went in that were ugly. That’s the growth of a young player.”

  16. On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’

    May 27, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

    Rangers forward has had issues with it thus far.

  17. Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach

    May 27, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Former Panthers and Devils coach will take over a team that missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Featured video

End of an era coming for Blackhawks?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Zuccarello (3877)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2509)
  3. S. Stamkos (2203)
  4. B. Bishop (1783)
  5. M. Carle (1625)
  1. M. Beleskey (1612)
  2. R. Nash (1593)
  3. M. Babcock (1499)
  4. N. Horton (1431)
  5. A. Vermette (1366)