Apr 20, 2013, 9:57 PM EST
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.
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 4
- Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 18
- Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening 5
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 67
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 37
- Rangers confirm Staal suffered concussion 8
- Winnipeg to get outdoor game; Phoenix wants one 33
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 156
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 104
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 136
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (136)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)