With all the insanity surrounding the Leafs this week, a lot of us barely noticed that they’ve now slipped three points out of the playoffs, and to be honest, most probably don’t care.
The Leafs have now fallen to tenth in the conference, tied with the Panthers at 45 points and three points back of Boston for the last wildcard spot (though Florida has three (!) games in hand on Toronto). A win tonight against the visiting Blue Jackets would be a big one before the Leafs take a death march out west to face the Kings, Ducks, Sharks and Blues. In other words, that playoff window may look a lot smaller a week from now.
Columbus is coming in on a bit of a hot streak, going 7-2-1 in their last ten, and while they’re still a ways back (six points) of the Leafs, they also have three games in hand. I’m sure they’re entering as a team believing they’re still in it.
Leafs lines via Daily Faceoff
Winnik – Bozak – Kessel
van Riemsdyk – Kadri – Panik
Komarov – Santorelli – Clarkson
Booth – Carrick – Smith
Phaneuf – Franson
Polak – Rielly
Gardiner – Robidas
Blue Jackets lines via Daily Faceoff
Hartnell – Johansen – Foligno
Calvert – Dubinsky – Atkinson
Collins – Wennberg – Skille
Morin – Letestu – Boll
Johnson – Savard
Connauton – Wisniewski
Tyutin – Goloubef
What to look for
- Peter Horachek unfortunately started his stint as the Leafs’ head coach with a lopsided loss against the Caps Wednesday, so he’ll be looking to get his first win. I’m guessing he’ll get a puck or something if he’s successful.
- The Leafs limited the Capitals to only 25 shots in Horachek’s debut, which was a nice break from the usual 35+. It’d be nice if they can turn that into a trend.
- Nick Foligno, who somehow has 38 points in 37 games for the Jackets. Seriously.