Toronto Maple Leafs playoff-bound for first time in nine years

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For the first time in the cap era, the Leafs are going to the playoffs. (Getty Images)

For the first time since the 2003-04 season, the Leafs are heading to the playoffs.. Officially.. By virtue of the Winnipeg Jets losing in a shootout on Saturday and the Leafs beating the Senators 4-1 in Ottawa, the Leafs ensure they won’t finish any worse than eighth.. If they were to lose out and the Jets were to win out, the teams would end up tied with 55 points but the Maple Leafs have already guaranteed they will win the first tiebreaker of Regulation/Overtime Wins so they can’t be caught.. So just like that, nine long years of frustration are over.. It’s felt like a lot longer than that, though.. To get a good feel for how long it’s been, take this tweet from Bruce Arthur.. Such a perfect illustration.. The Leafs will play playoffs games in HD for the first time in franchise history.. — Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) April 21, 2013 The Maple Leafs might not have won a Stanley Cup since 1967, but they were always a competitive team.. Then the lockout came and the Leafs couldn’t buy a postseason berth. source:

Maple Leafs fail to clinch, as Islanders rally to win

The NHL is playing a compact 48-game, 99-day schedule and we

They improved to 13-5-2 away from home, and earned their fifth win in six games as they chase their first playoff berth since 2007.. “That’s where we want to go, we want to keep moving up …. and take care of our own business,” Tavares said.. “That’s the best way to handle the situation we’re in.. “We know when we play well we can really take advantage of our opportunity here and not just get in but keep playing.” SUMMARY: Islanders 5, Maple Leafs 3 New York is 10-1-2 in its last 13 games.. Brad Boyes, with a goal and two assists, Matt Moulson and Frans Nielsen also scored for New York.. “We’ve still got 12 periods of hockey left and on the road against some good quality teams,” Tavares said.. Cody Franson, Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf scored for the Leafs, who were solidly outshot 38-21 Phil Kessel, appearing in his 500th career NHL game, added three assists.. Toronto will have to wait to clinch its first playoff berth since 2004.. The Leafs could have ended their postseason drought with a win over the Islanders and a Carolina victory over the Winnipeg Jets, but instead dropped to 13-8-2 at home with a second straight loss.. WATCH: John Tavares scores for the second time in the game Now the Leafs head into an important road game in Ottawa against the sixth-place Senators.. Franson said Toronto’s woes aren’t the result of the club looking ahead to the postseason. source:

NHL Playoffs: Toronto bars, restaurants set to cash in

Malcolm Fowler, Moneris’ VP of marketing, points out the overall volume of spending downtown might not increase during the NHL post season, but it will shift to restaurants and bars on days the Leafs play.. Which means it might shift away from other businesses.. “Depending on what kind of retailer you are, you’re either celebrating wildly or watching the game yourself,” Fowler says.. “Restaurateurs and drinking establishments are going to see significant opportunities when there are games, both home and away.. Given the level of demand for playoff hockey I wouldn’t be surprised if it was even more than what might normally happen.” Either way, cash registers will ring at the Air Canada Centre.. But for the Leafs, which Forbes ranks as the only billion-dollar franchise in the NHL , the cash generated by hosting a minimum of two playoff games won’t have as significant an impact simply because the club already makes so much money.. According to Forbes the Leafs brought in $200 million in revenue during the 2011-2012 season.. Only two other teams, the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, topped $150 million.. “It’s just going to bring additional cash to the pile,” says Mario Lefebvre of the Conference Board of Canada, an economic think tank that has studied the sports industry.. “They don’t have to make the playoffs. source:

Toronto Maple Leafs Playoffs: Leafs Beat Sens 4-1, Qualify For Playoffs For First Time Since 2004

The Senators outshot the Leafs 17-5 in the first, but many of those came from the outside.. “When you have 50 shots and one goal you can go back and look at it and maybe there’s too many shots from the perimeter and not getting to the good second chances and the rebounds,” said Ottawa’s Zack Smith.. “Reimer did play well and you can’t take that away from him, but I like to think we have enough skill guys and enough goal scorers that if you put up 50 shots there’s going to be more than one goal.” The Maple Leafs looked to have taken a 1-0 lead midway through the period, but a potential goal was called back due to incidental contact by Toronto’s Leo Komarov on Anderson.. Minutes later, Erik Condra had two great chances on Reimer but put the puck directly into the Toronto goalie’s pads.. Notes: With his assist on the Maple Leafs’ second goal, Kessel now has six goals and eight assists over his last eight games.. …. Saturday was the fifth and final meeting of the regular season between the two teams.. Toronto won the season series 4-1.. …. C Jim O’Brien, C Peter Regin, LW Guillaume Latendresse, D Mike Lundin and D Andre Benoit were healthy scratches for the Senators.. Ottawa is without C Jason Spezza (upper-body injury, day-to-day), C Mike Hoffman (collar bone, indefinitely) and D Erik Karlsson (Achilles, indefinite). source:

Leafs fan takes aim at CN Tower goal light

A Toronto hockey fan wants a goal light added to the city

“I want to turn the CN Tower into a goal light,” he said Tuesday during an interview on CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning.. “The kind of light you’d see on top of a fire engine … red, spinning.. I’m hoping to do that so the whole city could see it, not just the people in the arena.” Booth, who arrived in the studio wearing a Leafs jersey, had 40 signatures on Monday, a figure that jumped to 1,800 by Tuesday morning.. Booth estimates that about 50,000 signatures would be enough to catch the attention of CN Tower officials.. The CN Tower’s lights are often changed for special events and tributes.. They turned green for St.. Patrick’s Day and orange in the days after the funeral of Jack Layton, the late NDP leader.. ‘It would be amazing’ “Imagine how incredible it would be to see The CN Tower light up red every time Toronto scored a goal!” Booth writes on his petition page.. “It would be amazing!” Booth’s push for the goal light is likely influenced by a Budweiser ad campaign that sells in-home, Internet-connected goal lights.. They light up automatically the instant your favourite team scores. source:


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