Abandon ship! She’s going down.
That could certainly be said about the Toronto Maple Leafs season right about now. As early as a week ago, the Leafs looked assured to make the playoffs. Things have certainly changed. In what is reminiscent of the times that brought the infamous Brian Burke “18-wheeler going off a cliff” quote, the Leafs are heading in that direction.
Not too long ago, the Leafs were holding the No. 2 spot in the Atlantic Division, just above the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, the Leafs are barely hanging on to the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The loss last night to the New Jersey Devils was their fifth in a row. What is worse is those losses have come to teams that they are either chasing or are chasing them. The teams they have lost to are the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, the Lightning, Canadiens and Devils.
Detroit is tied with the Leafs in points but gets the first wild card spot because they are leading the season series. The Lightning and Canadiens are now six and five points in front of the Leafs respectively. The Capitals are only one point behind the Leafs and the Devils are five points back after last night’s win.
This is obviously the worst time of the season to go on a losing streak. The Leafs only have nine games remaining in the regular season and if they not careful, it will be their final nine games before September. It’s not going to be easy as those final games include match-ups with the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Red Wings and other teams that will be sure to give the Leafs problems.
So the question is, have you guys started panicking about the Leafs playoff chances? Or were you expecting this and are not surprised at all?