Can the Toronto Maple Leafs Make the Playoffs?

Kale SherarContributor IMarch 2, 2009

With the trade deadline only two days away, it is well established what teams that will be buying, and what teams will be selling.

Both conferences are looking different from last year, especially the East.

Pittsburgh is not at or near the top. In fact, they are barely even in the playoffs. Boston, on the other hand, is running away with the East, and it doesn't appear as if they will be stopped anytime soon.

One team that the whole hockey world seems to focus on though is the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

To say their season has been bad would be quite the understatement.

Their goaltending has been far below what they were hoping. Their top-six forward is minus 13, and second in team scoring.

However, there has been a faint glimmer of light over the last three weeks for the Leafs. 

Vesa Toskala has finally found his game. Jason Blake has rediscovered his scoring touch. Dominic Moore has played the best hockey of his career. The Maple Leafs as a team have found a way to win shootouts and overtimes.

As of Saturday night, the Leafs have won four straight, and both goalies seem to have finally found their groove. If they can continue this consistent method of play, they may be able to just squeak into the playoffs, pending a minor collapse from Carolina, Buffalo, or Florida.

Call me crazy. But if the Leafs, especially Toskala and Blake, stay on this roll they have going, then the playoffs are a possibility for this once proud franchise. 

They will all have to be sharp though, as 13 of their last 19 games are against teams currently in the playoff picture. The Maple Leafs will be facing Jersey, Washington, Calgary, Florida, Montreal, Buffalo, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Could this finally be the year that playoff hockey returns to Southern Ontario? 

Here is one Leafs fan hoping for the best out of this bad situation.