It was a real roller coaster of emotions for Maple Leafs supporters last night, forced to cheer for a win from the long-time rival Boston Bruins to keep the team's minuscule playoff chances alive.
Halfway through the second period there was reason for a sliver of hope; the Bruins were up 3-0 and the New York Rangers didn't appear to be particularly desperate, despite playing for their playoff lives. A pair of goals from Vinny Propsal seemed to wake the Blueshirts and put the Bruins on the ropes heading into the third.
The one-goal lead held until the final four minutes of the game when Boston folded, allowing three goals that reduce Toronto's postseason chances to a set of scenarios that could only come true if both the Hurricanes and Sabres can be talked into not showing up for their remaining games.
Side note: What is it with the Bruins and 3-0 leads anyway? See last year's historic playoff collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers for further proof that a mental hurdle related to the number three seems to trip this team up.
Mirtle will be visiting with the Leafs ahead of tonight's - wait for it - absolute must-win game against Ovie and the Capitals. I'm sure the guys will be in a great mood. He'll have something fresh for this space in the afternoon.
Until then, the links:
Blueshirt Banter on last night's comeback.
Noted pessimist Jeff Blair is slightly optimistic about the direction of the Leafs. Wait, what?
Mirtle sensed resignation in the Leafs dressing room yesterday.
Also from Mirtle, a look at how well Joffrey Lupul has fit with the blue and white.
Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox sees parallels between the Leafs current goaltending situation and what the Washington Capitals went through last season.
Paul Hunter of the Star says the Leafs need a miracle.
Somny at Pension Plan Puppets takes a look at players who have seen their production drop after leaving Toronto. Warning: There's some salty language directed towards Lee Stempniak.
Matt Bracken at Maple Leafs Hot Stove says Ron Wilson deserves some respect.
Michael Langlois at Vintage Leaf Memories celebrates 18 months of his blog's existence with a look back.
Puck Daddy with the latest playoff scenarios.