Since the All-Star Break, the Leafs have ripped off 10 wins in 16 games, and garnered points in 4 of the other 6. While it remains to be seen if they can keep up their tear through a trying schedule over the remainder of the season, it’s a fun time to be Leaf fans, especially since for the first time in a few seasons, the Leafs’ annual “win-when-it-doesn’t-matter” streak actually could have postseason gold at the end of its rainbow.
In the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, tonight the Leafs face an opponent that has been even hotter than they have, winning 7 in a row and 8 of their last 10. Jonathan Toews and company have battled their way to the upper middle class of a closely-contested Western Conference playoff race, and even did the Buds a favor last night with their downing of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Toews and Marian Hossa have been a huge part of the Hawks recent success. Toews is riding a four game goal streak and an eight game point streak, while Hossa has 9 points in his last six. The Leafs have a few players with hot hands of their own. Mikhail Grabovski has 5 points in his current 4-game point streak, Nikolai Kulemin is on a 3-game goalscoring streak, with 5 points in his last 4 games, while linemate Clarke MacArthur has his own 4-game point streak. Then, of course, there’s Phil Kessel, who has 8 goals and 15 points in his last 12 games.
Links after the jump.
Nazem Kadri had himself quite the game for the Marlies last night, as they downed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. [Pension Plan Puppets]
James Mirtle takes a look at five reasons the Leafs have been so successful as of late. [Leafs Beat]
More from Mirtle on Dion Phaneuf’s sudden resurgence. [Leafs Beat]
“The game is not supposed to be fun. The word ‘fun’ doesn’t appear in a Standard Player’s Contract. You win enough, then it becomes fun.” Brian Burke spoke at a panel discussion on Lebron James’ “The Decision” earlier this week. [Maple Leafs Hot Stove