Leafs’ Victory: the doughnut theory plays out in unexpected ways

Leafs’ Victory: the doughnut theory plays out in unexpected ways

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson characterized last night’s 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders as “a bit of a doughnut game.” In other words, there was nothing in the middle. The Leafs exploded out of the gate, getting early goals from Colby Armstrong and Jay Rosehill, before disappearing in the second stanza. The Islanders answered with two goals of their own, taking advantage of the doughnut’s vacant centre, but the Leafs rounded out the circle as Tomas Kaberle sparked a three-goal charge at the beginning of the final period.

Of course, the win ignited talk of an unlikely playoff push amongst the players, fans and the media alike. In the post-game scrum, Armstrong, who finished with a goal and two assists, said his squad was “sniffing a little closer and closer” at the postseason. On the Toronto Star’s A Leafs Fan Blogs, the Leafs fan spoke of the word we dare not use ( “playoffs,” not “Voldemort”) and the Star blasted the headline: “Kaberle to the rescue, Leafs keep playoff push alive.”

The postseason picture for Toronto is shaping up as such: currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings the Leafs are eight points out of the eighth and final playoff berth held by the Carolina Hurricanes. With 28 games to go this season, they’d have to catch Carolina while leapfrogging the Florida Panthers, the Buffalo Sabres and the struggling Atlanta Thrashers. That means a lot of winning along the way.

On second thought, Wilson doughnut theory might better describe the talk around the Leafs renewed postseason drive: tantalizing, sweet and covered in icing sugar and sprinkles on the outside, but hollow and void of any real substance at its core.

• Leafs score 3 times in 3rd period, down Isles [CBC.ca]
Kaberle to the rescue, Leafs keep playoff push alive [Toronto Star]
• Game 54: Sniffing closer to the word we dare not use [Toronto Star]
• Kaberle starts Leafs comeback [Globe and Mail]
• Leafs hang on for win on Long Island [Toronto Sun]