Forget that JS Giguere has a 1.01 GAA with a 9.65 save percentage since coming over. Or that the Dion Phaneuf has solidified the blue line and made everyone around him play better. Forget Phil Kessel's 21 goals and counting, or the emergence of Tyler Bozak.
Toronto are 29th in the NHL with 22 games left to play. To make matters worse, they are a full 7 points behind 27th place, with the Panthers having a game in hand. In short, it's fucking dire. Sorry about the language.
As of late Toronto are playing better but in all the excitement I'm hearing some pretty crazy ideas floating around. And I'm not talking crazy as in "wacky", but crazy "you're out of your bloody mind".
So lets break down three potential goals for Leaf fans to have as the season winds down for Toronto.
1. MAKE THE PLAYOFFS.
Lets break the hearts of those who think this is still even possible. The Leafs need 41pts to get to 90pts [which is thought to be the playoff cutoff this season]. That would require the Leafs to finish the season 20-1-1. You're more likely to grow a tail between now and then. Let it go. No really. Let it go.
2. NO TOP TWO PICK FOR BOSTON.
With no playoffs Leaf fans can only cheer for Boston not to get the top pick. This goal requires finishing 24th in the NHL. Why 24th? Because even if the Leafs win the draft lottery they can only move up 4 spots. Finishing 24th means Boston can at best get the 3rd overall pick. To finish 24th it will require the Leafs to get around 80 points. That's a record of 15-6-1 from here on in. You're more likely to win a proline where you chose 6 outcomes, but that actually happened to my brother last week so lets call it stupid, odds-wise, but not impossible.
3. FINISH 4TH LAST AND PRAY
The lottery pick usually goes to the 30th place team who has the most odds. So, to stay out of the top three the Leafs need around 75 points. That's a final run of 13-9. This is still uphill all the way, but at least reasonable to hope for. You're more likely to grow an increased interest in the Raptors over this span of time, but if it's a goal you're looking for, this is one to root for.