Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Shiv on 02/04/11 at 12:34 PM ET
With consecutive wins over two teams they are fighting for that final playoff spot, the possibility of a potential playoff berth for the Toronto Maple Leafs has resurfaced.
But let’s break it down mathematically: What will it take for the Leafs to make the playoffs?
As of today the Toronto Maple Leafs sit 10 points behind the Atlanta Thrashers for the 8th Seed in the Eastern Conference.
They sit 10 points behind Atlanta with 3 games in hand, 9 points behind Carolina with 1 game in hand, and 3 points behind Florida who have played just as many games. The team perhaps in the best position to take over the 8th spot is Buffalo who currently have 51 points in 49 games and hold 5 games in hand on Atlanta.
Post-Lockout, the 8th Seed in the East has averaged approximately 92 Points. Last season, the Canadiens sneaked in with only 88 points in part due to the increased level of parity in the league. 91 points seems to be the over-under mark for that final spot going forward.
To hit that mark, the Leafs would have to take 44 points in their final 31 games. While a record that reads along the lines of 19-6-6 seems unlikely, it is not unattainable.
What’s more is that in the next 31 games, the Leafs play Buffalo 4 times, Atlanta twice and Carolina and Florida once. That means the Leafs will play 8 four-point games in the next month and a half.
The 4 games against Carolina, Florida and Atlanta certainly give the Leafs an opportunity to catch up. The 4 games against Buffalo allow the Leafs to take the Games Played advantage away from their divisional rival.
But most importantly, the Leafs are very much in control of their destiny.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org