Came down sick yesterday, and the Leafs’ play in New York sure as hell didn’t help. The Buds were lucky to get away with a point, although James Reimer almost stole one for them. It was a bad game to let slip away, especially since the 8th place Buffalo Sabres fell to the Penguins, 3-1. Time is running out on the Buds’ playoff chances, as they have just 15 games to make up 4 points on the Sabres and Hurricanes.
Without dwelling on the past – it wasn’t pretty, the Buds were outshot 40-27, and laying in bed with a headache watching the Isles outplay the Leafs is not something I want to relive – the Leafs have a crucial homestand coming up. A Thursday night rematch against the slumping Flyers will kick things off, followed by a huge game against the Sabres on Saturday and a tough matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Aside from the must-win game against Buffalo, the Buds will need to take at least one of the two other games they play at the ACC in the next seven days to stay in the hunt. None of the games will be an easy task, but that’s the pickle the Buds have put themselves in. The Thrashers beat the Canes tonight, but needed overtime to do it, so Carolina increased their lead on the Leafs to 4 points, while the Rangers currently trail the Ducks out in Anaheim.
Here’s the upcoming schedules for the teams the Leafs are tracking through Tuesday:
Carolina (15 games left, 72 pts): Friday @ Washington, Saturday vs. Columbus, Tuesday vs. Buffalo, Wednesday vs. Toronto
Buffalo (16 games left, 72 pts): Thursday @ Boston, Saturday @ Toronto, Sunday vs. Ottawa, Tuesday vs. Carolina
New York (14 games left, 74 pts): Saturday @ San Jose, Tuesday vs. NYI