Apr 20, 2013, 9:57 PM EDT
If you just heard a huge cheer coming from the general Ontario area, you might not be mistaken. The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Saturday to clinch their first playoff berth since the 2003-04 season.
The NHL’s longest playoff drought now belongs to the Edmonton Oilers (they haven’t made it since they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup finals).
Like many nights this season, the Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk combo fueled the offense (Kessel assisted on two JVR goals) while James Reimer was the biggest difference-maker (49 out of 50 saves).
You’ll probably read plenty of “the last time Toronto made the postseason” jokes and facts in the next hour or so, but here’s an especially good one from The Score to whet your appetite:
The last time the #Leafs clinched a playoff berth, Facebook had less than 500 users.
— Check The Ticker (@ChecktheTicker) April 21, 2013
At this moment, the Maple Leafs hold the fifth seed in the East, but that can change (especially if the New York Islanders remain hot). Regardless, plenty of Toronto fans probably feel euphoric just to have this conversation once again.
- Flyers’ Mason broke his right pinky finger playing ball hockey 9
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 51
- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 7
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 13
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 30
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 46
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 21
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame (54)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (46)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)