Thursday, April 05, 2007

Clash Of The (Less Than) Titans

It's set. Montreal and Toronto both followed their scripts earlier tonight, and have set up Saturday's Hockey Night In Canada as the game to decide everything. Eighty-one games played, and it all comes down to the last one. Montreal leads Toronto by a point, meaning the Leafs need to beat the Canadiens in regulation to make the playoffs. Overtime will not do, because a tie in the standings would favour the Habs.

Both teams lost their games in New York, which is a rather deflating way to set up the most important game of the season, but really, the process doesn't matter right now, only the end result. The Leafs could have done themselves a favour by beating the Islanders today and eliminating them from contention, because technically that half of New York is still in the hunt with two games remaining, which could ultimately make all this Toronto-Montreal posturing purely academic.

Enough with the needless pessimism - the Islanders will stumble, my storybook ending says they have to. Saturday should be great. I don't want to get too optimistic, Montreal has been playing slightly better than Toronto, and we do have to win in regulation, which is something the Leafs haven't actually done since March 27. Going in the Leafs favour is that the game is in Toronto, where they have an eight game win streak going.

Decision: Maple Leafs? I hope so, so hard.


No comments: