One last time: Your Sunday playoff scenarios
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 22:21
The Bruins, unlike Ottawa, have just one game left on the regular season docket, and if they want to avoid facing the team with the NHL's best record in the first round they would do well to win that game, which just happens to be against the team with the NHL's best record, the Washington Capitals.
A trainer tends to injured Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo after he was hit by Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Carried by former Leafs goaltender James Reimer, the team was set to play the Bruins in the first round. If the B's remain in third place, they'll have that first-round series with the Sens, and would then take on the victor of the Rangers-Canadiens showdown in the second round if they were to advance.
Toronto boy Connor Brown, scorer of the game-winning goal, celebrated with a Mike Foligno-style dance as the roof lifted off the ACC. This should be another exciting game between these two teams but I expect the Leafs to have a little more bounce in their step as they get another win to lock up third place and set up a date with the Ottawa Senators. A 30th-place finish last season put them in a great spot to win the draft lottery and select Matthews, but many outside the organization figured more pain was coming, especially with so many rookies in the lineup. Only the Leafs can climb higher.
Horns were honking on Bay St. instead of the feared beep-beep-beep of the Leafs backing into a playoff spot.
The Leafs are sitting in the wild card spot right now. Tormented by bad luck and at times hesitant to shoot during his scoring slump, he finally found satisfaction in front of the people, a lot of them in the media, who questioned his will to win and his conditioning during a six-season span in Toronto.
Toronto has 93 points with two games remaining, while the Lightning and Islanders both have 90.
The club discussed the need to play with more "confidence and poise" against the Penguins, elements that were mostly missing against the Lightning.
It wasn't the smoothest effort that got them into the postseason.
The Islanders and the Lightning both trail the Leafs with 90 points each. NY slammed the Hurricanes on Thursday to also get within four of the Leafs and finish up with weekend games against the Devils and Senators.
At the Masters Golf tournament, Charley Hoffman leads the field after one day of play, shooting a 7-under 65 yesterday under hard conditions that included strong winds, and has built up a four shot lead over the rest of the field. If they don't pass Toronto in ROW, then a tie does the Islanders no good.
Tampa Bay faces Montreal tonight, the only game on the National Hockey League schedule, needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. We made it harder than it should be, we didn't play like we normally do and I thought we were slow. "Play your shift, come back, take a deep breath, get a drink of water and play your next one".
Tampa plays Buffalo at 5pm. The play that led to the goal served as an excellent example of van Riemsdyk's hand-eye coordination, as he managed to bat the puck down at the blue line and stay onside prior to making a move to his forehand and scoring.
The Leafs return to the post-season isn't just about the jump from last year though, but from four years earlier when they last cracked the playoffs. Four points does not automatically eliminate the Leafs.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will face the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The players left behind in Syracuse, often short-handed, have done all they can to hold things together, but they need help.
Patrik Berglund scored the go-ahead goal with 9:23 remaining in the third period to lead St Louis over Florida at BB&T Center.