With three regulation losses in their last four, plus an injured number-one goalie, the Toronto Maple Leafs have seen their chances to make the playoffs fall from almost 90 percent to 75.9, per Sports Club Stats.
Certainly, that’s still a pretty high probability they’ll be playing past the end of the regular season, but when a team becomes synonymous with collapses — be they down the stretch or in Game 7 of the first round — the fans start to worry a bit.
Last night’s 3-2 loss to Detroit was doubly significant as the Red Wings are one of the clubs trying to chase down Toronto for a wild-card spot in the East.
“I thought he was okay, you know, just okay,” said Carlyle of Reimer, per TSN.ca.
And with the number of shots the Leafs surrender on average — the most in the NHL (36.3), in case you wondering — “just okay” isn’t usually going to be good enough.
Bernier was on the ice this morning, but he’s not expected to play tonight versus Tampa Bay, and there’s no time line for his return. For now, the crease is Reimer’s.
The Leafs can probably get away with playing .500 hockey — or maybe even a bit below — for the rest of the season and still make the playoffs. And with their schedule, that’s not a huge ask.
But if there’s one fan base that’s learned not to count its chickens before they’ve hatched, it might be the big, passionate one in Toronto.