Fun With the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL Standings: End of Season Edition

Mar 26, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates
Mar 26, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are all but mathematically eliminated from the Atlantic Division Title. Sure, they could make a late run and make use of their games-in-hand, but they aren't going to do that. They were the second best team in the NHL for 27 games from January 18th to last Saturday and they still barely put a dent in either Florida or Boston's lead.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a magic number of 12 for the Atlantic Division Title. That means that any number of Leafs losses and Bruins Wins or OT Losses, that add up to 12 points will eliminate the Leafs. That might not sound that bad, but if they were to lose last night, and Saturday, and Boston were to win on Saturday, that number would be cut in half in three days.

They are mathematically alive, but winning the Atlantic is now an extreme longshot. It is much more likely that Tampa catches Toronto than Toronto catching Boston.

Prior to last night's play, the Leafs were only two points up on the Lightning who are surging as the season winds down.

Fun With the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL Standings: End of Season Edition

The Capitals look good to catch the Flyers, but will the Flyers hold on to the last wild card spot? New Jersey is right there and they could get as high as 94 points. The Flyers are only at 82 right now with nine games to go, so anything could still happen.

Realistically, there is just one wild card spot left because either Tampa or Toronto is taking the first one. The third Metro spot is open, but Washington has games in hand and looks like the best bet.

So will make it out of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit, Long Island, Buffalo or Pittsburgh?

When you write it out like that it starts to seem pretty exciting, but realistically, Detroit and the Flyers appear to be the heavy favorites to secure the last spot, as Detroit has three points and a game-in-hand over their closest rival.

Out West it's even more boring, with really no good playoff races happening. The surprise Predators have made things interesting by passing the Knights, but the Blues are pretty much done.

Vegas has six points on St. Louis and nine on the Wild, making them heavy favorites to secure the last playoff spot in the West.

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While the playoff races are (mostly) settled, the seeding is going to be very interesting.