Another Bad Loss May Cost Toronto Maple Leafs Home-Ice

Toronto Maple Leafs bench (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs bench (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Losing another game to the Buffalo Sabres may be the difference in the Toronto Maple Leafs securing home-ice advantage this year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently four points up on the Tampa Bay Lightning and five points up on the Boston Bruins with nine games remaining in the regular season. That may seem like a good gap but there’s still a lot of work to do.

In Toronto’s remaining nine games, they have to play Florida, Tampa Bay and Boston, so those three games may decide the Leafs fate of whom they’ll face in the playoffs.

Every team has that opponent who’s hard to face, no matter their record.

In the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens could be 10-0 and the Pittsburgh Steelers could be 0-10 when they face each other, but no matter what, the game is always decided by three points.

As for the NHL, the Leafs always have trouble with the Sabres every season, no matter their record.

Bad Losses May Cost Toronto Maple Leafs Home-Ice Advantage

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 5-2 to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night in what seems like a very lopsided loss, but the score doesn’t show the full result. One, the Sabres scored an empty-netter, and two, the Leafs dominated a lot of the play.

Craig Anderson made a few huge saves that stopped the Leafs from pulling away from a victory, but at the end of the day, a loss is a loss and falling to Buffalo is unacceptable. With that defeat, the Leafs were only able to secure two of eight total points against Buffalo this year, which isn’t good enough.

Although the Sabres were the Leafs biggest kryptonite this season, there were two other terrible teams that Toronto didn’t secure enough points against.

The Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes are the two worst teams in the NHL this year, but the Leafs only secured five of 12 total points against them (stats:

It’s unrealistic to think Toronto should win every single team (no matter how bad their opponent is), but securing seven of 20 total points is an unacceptable result against three of the worst nine teams in the NHL.

If Toronto loses their remaining games against their Atlantic Division foes (Tampa Bay, Florida and Boston) and the Leafs miss out on home-ice advantage, everyone needs to look back to their play against Buffalo, Montreal and Arizona this year as a real reason why they couldn’t secure home-ice.

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These type of losses are intolerable, so let’s hope it doesn’t end up costing the Leafs when the playoffs start.