The Leafs can clinch a playoff spot this weekend, here’s how

The Leafs can clinch a playoff spot this weekend, here’s how

That tiny little “x” next to the Toronto Maple Leafs on the standings tables can be a real mood elevator. We should all feel pretty confident the Leafs are going to get there but there is a benefit to getting things squared away early too. Here’s what the Leafs need to do in their back-to-back this weekend or what other teams need to do over the next couple of days to give the Leafs their x, and what is still required to clinch home ice advantage in the remaining games of the season.

As it sits right now the Panthers winning all ten of their remaining games would give them 99 points and if they win their way out in regulation or overtime they’d have 44 regulation or overtime wins. With the season tiebreakers like goal differential and season series results still not fully determined, Toronto wouldn’t clinch this week if the Leafs won both of their games, they’d still require a Panthers loss. The Panthers have a game Saturday against the Rangers, if they win that it wouldn’t be until Monday that the Panthers can help the Leafs clinch.
Pittsburgh has the potential to reach 100 points if they won their way out of the season, but they can still help the Leafs clinch this weekend if they lose to Washington on Saturday. If the Leafs win both of their games and the Penguins lose, the Leafs are in. It would be nice if Brian Burke could successfully get the Leafs into the playoffs.
(Save for Islanders section)
Clinching Home in the first round
It goes without saying that this is going to take a bit more time to pull off, but as strange as it is to say, I don’t think the Leafs can really screw this up. The Leafs have a 5 point lead over the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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