NHL: Leafs Nation Cheering for Original 6 Rivals

Matt Wiseman@HockeyWiseCorrespondent IIIFebruary 26, 2011

MONTREAL- APRIL 10:  Toronto Maple Leafs fans support tehir team during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens on April 10, 2010 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Saturday night's tilt with the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins is a virtual must-have two points for the Blue and White, but on this rare occasion Leafs Nation will also be cheering for two original six rivals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have worked hard to claw back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.

Riding the consistent play of James Reimer, the Buds sit only six points back of the eighth-placed Carolina Hurricanes. However, the Leafs have a game in hand, so with another win, they are potentially a mere four points out of the playoffs.  

On Saturday night the Leafs will take the ice at the Air Canada Centre to play the depleted Penguins. Pittsburgh has struggled as of late only winning two games in their last ten contests. Their recent decline in play can largely be attributed key injuries, most notably to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Pens most recent defeat came at the hands of the Hurricanes in Carolina on Friday night. While Pittsburgh will be looking for a bounce-back effort, the Leafs will look to take advantage of a depleted and tired roster.

The Pens have done quite a bit of travelling as of late and the Leafs plan to take full advantage of this fact Saturday night in order to squeak out with a big two points.

Apart from taking in the game at the ACC, Leafs nation will have a keen eye on two others games Saturday night: Carolina at Montreal, and Detroit at Buffalo.

If all goes well for Leafs fans, the original six teams will sweep the board taking all six points.

This means Saturday night has the potential to see the Leafs gain an important two points on the Sabres and climb to four points back of eighth place.

Not to mention the fact the Leafs would have gained a game on both teams, to potentially sit only two points shy of the playoffs.

Hopefully the Leafs can take care of business on their end, and just maybe, two original six rivals can help them out as well.


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