All season long it appeared as if Toronto was going to finish with the worst record and lowest point total in the league. Well, since the trading deadline, Toronto has picked up the pace and is now only 3 points behind Florida and 4 points out of 10th, where there is a cluster of 3 teams. Now the teams in front of Toronto have nothing to play for. Florida, Tampa, and the Islanders all dumped players at the deadline. These teams obviously are aware that there are three franchise players in this year’s draft. So don’t be surprised to see them not bring their A game every night. Carolina on the other hand, also dumped players but they’ve been on fire lately and seem determined to play meaningful hockey for the remainder of the season. A playoff position is not out of the question for the Canes and we all know the damage they could do if they get hot. Toronto has nothing to lose going forward. They have no reason to tank games since they know their draft position is going right to the Bruins. It may actually be motivation for the players to give it their all for the rest of the season. What looked to be a sure thing for most of the season is suddenly slipping away and I would not be surprised to see the Maple Leafs finish above 4 or 5 teams.
Don’t expect a top three pick