Toronto, Canada – Isn’t it strange how the sports media keep showing us the stats for our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs, and tell us how many points they have until playoffs? But for some reason they never tell us how many games are still remaining in the NHL regular season. Yes, it’s 82 games, and that means there are over 20 games still remaining before playoffs, but why the emphasis on standings, when so many games still remain? The sports media have been reporting these standings for a couple of weeks since the All-Star break.
So the Leafs are currently in eighth place with 62 points and have played 55 games (out of 82) and I think it could change drastically before the end of the regular season. The cut-off for playoffs is the eight top teams in each of the four divisions and since the Leafs are somewhere around the cut-off mark, they want to keep us still interested. The Eastern Conference where the Leafs play, is only separated from first place by New York Rangers, by 11 points, but Rangers have played three less games than the Leafs.
The playoffs are where everything changes, players grow beards, games become more intense, and the crowds increase in places where they have stadiums unfilled during regular season. The does not happen in Toronto as nearly every game at Air Canada Centre is completely sold out. And what’s going to happen with Nazem Kadri, he has been sent back down to the American Hockey League Marlies, and we are all hoping he will be back for the playoffs.
It was just announced this week the Leafs will play in the next Bridgestone Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan against the Detroit Red Wings on January 1/2013. But the Leafs are already selling tickets for the event on their website. Is this event for the fans or is it pure greed by the NHL as you will undoubtedly need binoculars to see anything with over 100,000 attending.
I’m sure we will soon see the Maple Leaf flags on cars as it is very possible the Leafs will make the playoffs, but remember, they have over 20 games to go. Go Leafs go.