By Lukas Hardonk (@LukasHardonk)
If you thought the Toronto Maple Leafs had been in tough lately with a trip to Western Canada and a matchup against the Vancouver Canucks, don’t even bother to look at their upcoming schedule.
Over their next four games, the Maple Leafs will meet with the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers. Note that at least two of those four teams─San Jose is the exception with New Jersey on the bubble of being an exception─are, like the Maple Leafs, battling for a playoff birth.
The Leafs are lucky enough to have a major factor going for them: All four games will be played at the Air Canada Centre, where they have gone 16-9-4 which turns out to a points percentage of .690. That alone becomes extremely important given that the Winnipeg Jets, who have won three in a row and are now tied with the Leafs for eighth, hold the same points percentage at MTS Centre, where they will play their next six games.