Skip to content

Toronto Maple Leafs clinch 2013 playoff spot

Apr 20, 2013, 9:57 PM EST

jvrandkesselgetty Getty Images

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:

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Michael Ryder, Scott Clemmensen have the mumps

    Dec 27, 2014, 12:05 PM EST

    Michael Ryder Getty Images

    The Devils will dress 11 forwards tonight.

  2. NHL on NBCSN: Sharks, Kings renew hostilities

    Dec 27, 2014, 9:53 AM EST

    Tomas Hertl, Jonathan Quick AP

    Los Angeles is in a delicate position after a pre-holiday slump.

  3. NHL on NBCSN: Can Capitals take advantage of depleted Penguins?

    Dec 27, 2014, 9:04 AM EST

    Matt Niskanen Getty Images

    Washington hasn’t beaten Pittsburgh since Jan. 11, 2012.

  4. Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy a recipient of the Order of Canada

    Dec 26, 2014, 8:30 PM EST

    Calgary Flames v Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Getty Images

    Long-time play-by-play man Bob Cole also recognized.

  5. Sharks recall Haley from the AHL

    Dec 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Will be filling the spot vacated by the suspended John Scott.

  6. Eichel earns assist and scores in shootout as U.S. squeaks by Finland

    Dec 26, 2014, 5:38 PM EST

    United States v Finland - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Getty Images

    Decent start for the Americans at the World Juniors.

  7. The Devils are old, and that’s a problem no coach can fix

    Dec 26, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    Jaromir Jagr Getty Images

    New Jersey has three of the five oldest skaters in the NHL.

  8. Five team stats you may find interesting

    Dec 26, 2014, 3:30 PM EST

    Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry Getty Images

    The Anaheim Ducks have been good — or is it lucky? — in one-goal games.

  9. Canada enters World Juniors as 11/10 favorite; USA next at 9/4

    Dec 26, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    Canada Training Sessions - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Getty Images

    Connor McDavid headlines a loaded host side that hasn’t won gold since 2009.

  10. Devils fire DeBoer

    Dec 26, 2014, 12:43 PM EST

    Head coach Peter DeBoer works the bench against the New York Islanders during a preseason game at the Barclays Center on September 21, 2013 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.The game is the first professional hockey match to be held in the arena that is slated to be the new home for the Islanders at the start of the 2015-2016 season.
(September 20, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    New Jersey off to a disappointing 12-17-7 start. The coach pays the price.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2639)
  2. C. Perry (2265)
  3. B. Elliott (2038)
  4. S. Crosby (2036)
  5. S. Weiss (2004)
  1. J. Howard (1792)
  2. S. Varlamov (1711)
  3. J. Schwartz (1592)
  4. N. Kronwall (1469)
  5. S. Downie (1419)