Friday, March 28, 2008

The Leafs

As They Say, "It's Official"

Last night, the Leafs slim chance to qualify for the playoffs ended, unsurprisingly.

I wrote here a number of times that the Leafs wouldn't qualify. Their inconsistent play and losing streaks at the beginning of the season did them in. There were also injuries, but that's part of any NHL team's season.

I'm going to the team's season closer at home next Thursday. If he plays, it may be Mats Sundin's final game as a Leaf. I hope it isn't, but now, that's the only significance of that game.



Kerry said...

I can now safely say that I actually won't be upset should the Leafs win that game, mostly because their amazingly loyal fanbase can break for the summer without feeling as though they've been kicked a few too many times while they're down.

On the other hand, I also understand people wanting them to finish as low in the standings as possible so they can get as good a draft pick as possible.

I also hope Montreal stops freaking out about finishing the season in first, as nice of a boost as that would be for the team and the fans, and tries its best to force a first-round matchup against Boston.

Kerry said...

(Granted, the Leafs' amazingly loyal fanbase is going to break for the summer feeling as though they've been kicked a few too many times while they were down anyway. But I could do without the guilt!)

Czobit said...

Now that the Leafs chance is over, it'll be interesting to see if they still show up in these remaining four games.

Management has a lot to do in the summer, and missing the playoffs was probably the best result for the Leafs. 'Cause you know if the Leafs had made it, and somehow even grinded out a first round series win, the talk would be about keeping together the core that failed them in the first three quarters of the season.

About the Habs, first place is nice, but there's no correlation between finishing high and winning the Cup.

Kerry said...

Yeah, and they're not going to win the Cup so taking the division title is really going to be the highlight of the season should it happen. But they could make it into the second round if they wind up facing Boston, and since by this point they're guaranteed a much lower draft pick than, say, Los Angeles, they might as well try to push as hard into the playoffs as they can.

At the same time, as nice as it is to see them doing well and choking much less regularly, this was supposed to be a building year with the serious Cup drive being next year, with the club's centennial and hosting the All-Star game. And I can't help but think that one decent season is going to burn them out.

But hey, at least we're not Lightning fans.

Czobit said...

Ah, but Lightning fans may celebrate the most in the summer if they pick up Stamkos in the draft.

I think the Habs have a good chance of making the Eastern Conference finals.

And I think they have the division all but wrapped up. Ottawa has been awful nearly all year long - at least to their standards.

Kerry said...

Tampa is still two points ahead of L.A., so if they stay in their current position they'll miss out on Stamkos by about two points. Which has got to be heartbreaking.

Czobit said...

I thought there's a lottery for the top pick? Either way, Tampa will probably pick up highly-wanted prospect.

They'll still suck though until they find a goaltender.