All Toronto Maple Leaf fans know how the months of November and December have gone for the team. They have been tremendous disappointments and the fact that they have managed to hold on to the final playoff spot is astounding.
The Maple Leafs have struggled against all kinds of teams. Teams that are above them in the standings and teams that they should clearly beat. That formula doesn’t work out for any team, let alone one with playoff aspirations.
Well, in the next three weeks, the Leafs have a tremendous opportunity. If the Leafs can take advantage of the opposition in that time, they could really improve their standing in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division.
Here are the teams the Leafs will face:
Dec 23 – New York Rangers
December 27 – Buffalo Sabres
December 29 – Carolina Hurricanes
January 1 – Detroit Red Wings
January 4 – New York Rangers
January 7 – New York Islanders
January 9 – Carolina Hurricanes
January 10 – Washington Capitals
January 12 – New Jersey Devils
The only teams in that list with more points than the Leafs (40) are the Red Wings (43) and the Capitals (42). You can also see that not one Western Conference team is on the list. The Leafs need to take advantage of these nine games. If they can pick up as close to the 18 available points as possible, they could climb back into the top three in the Atlantic.
The other reason the Leafs need to succeed in this stretch is that soon after it, they will face another stretch against tough Western Conference teams.
The Leafs need to make hay while the sun shines.