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Leafs still hopeful for playoffs, though they’ve probably blown it already

Apr 3, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle looks on with players, left to right, Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul, and Peter Holland against the New York Rangers during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Mark Blinch) AP

Chances are, the Toronto Maple Leafs have dug a hole that’s too deep from which to escape.

That’s what an eight-game losing streak will do.

Still, a win tonight over the visiting Bruins — and maybe combine it with a Columbus loss in Philadelphia? — and, well, you never know.

“We understand where we’re at and where we need to go, so tonight’s an important building step in that direction,” Leafs forward Nazem Kadri said, per NHL.com. “We’ve got to make sure we come out ready to go.”

That last part may have been cliché, but it’s also true. Toronto was anything but “ready to go” in most of the games during that epic losing streak, which only ended Tuesday with a 3-2 win over Calgary.

Again, it’s highly likely the Leafs have already blown their postseason hopes. Even if they win all five of their remaining games, they could still miss the playoffs. According to Sports Club Stats, if they go 4-1-0 their chances are just 27.6 percent.

The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle went so far as to create a chart detailing how Toronto can sneak back in:

source:

Writes Mirtle:

The biggest threat, in other words, is obviously Columbus, as the Jackets don’t need to be world beaters to stay ahead of Toronto, even if the Leafs play well.

If Columbus goes better than 4-3-0, the Leafs can’t catch them.

Related: Playoff bubble watch — Blue Jackets edition

  1. terrier92 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Leafs are toast

  2. bcsteele - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Go Jackets!! At least that’s a team that’s earned it…

    Toronto should have been in the playoffs this year in my opinion, but not with that kind of effort. I would expect some shake up in Toronto.

  3. garybrian - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Team will have a early off-season to make several necessary changes.

  4. beergold - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    I don’t like the Leafs ownership and the BS they have put fans through BUT this team IF it beats the Bruins tonight will have an honest shot at the playoffs. Do they deserve it…not likely…would they go deep if they manage it….not likely.

    If they lose tonight however you can bet that on Saturday night at the ACC the entire building WILL be decked out in Paper Bag fans and that will not be pretty. But perhaps it will be a message the Leaf ownership will finally hear!

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