Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Maple Leafs on life support but not dead yet
The Leafs pulled out another big win against Buffalo last night and thereby maintain a weak pulse as far as the playoffs are concerned. In addition, a Dion Phaneuf shot knocks all-star goalie Ryan Miller out of the Sabres lineup. So what does backup Jhonas Enroth do in just his 10 NHL start? He beats the Rangers 1-0 and earns his first career shutout. Yup the Leafs cannot buy a break.
So the Leafs and Sabres have 5 remaining games with the Leafs trailing by 7 points. So a combination of two Toronto loses or Sabre wins will finally end this dream. That's all it really is. The Leafs really eliminated themselves in early March with three consecutive losses to
Chicago, the Islanders and Philadelphia.
The optimism surrounding this team hasn't been seen in some time. Yes they have had strong finishes in the past but this everyone seems to agree is different. They are winning riding their youth and strong goaltending. Neither have existed in Toronto in some time. Fans have stopped screaming for the heads of Brian Burke and Ron Wilson. Neither appear to be as stupid as they did in November. Fans are no longer booing Dion Phaneuf. They have stopped obsessing about the TRADE. It's a little early to be dusting off the parade route. But you might want to be in town next April and May when the 2011-12 regular season comes to an end,