Originally written on Talk Hockey  |  Last updated 11/19/14
With only one-third of the NHL season remaining, the Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting at sixth place in the Eastern Conference, and looking to end their eight-year playoff drought. “To look too far forward would be a mistake. We have to stay in the moment and try to get as many wins as possible", said Leafs d-man Cody Franson. "We try to make it so we control our own fate and not rely on other teams to help us. In order to do that, you’ve got to be able to play solid each game from here on out.”The Leafs were actually the only team in the NHL that did not make the playoffs between lockouts.Toronto will need about 16 points over the next 16 games to clinch their first playoff spot since 2004. - Toronto StarAn 8-8 record doesn't seem too bad? In others words, all the Leafs need to make the playoffs is a .500 record. Over the course of these next 16 games the Leafs will face... the Ottawa Senators three times, the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and the Florida Panthers each twice, and once against the Boston Bruins (tonight), Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, and Tampa Bay Lightning.Out of the ten teams they will face, five of them are currently in a playoff position, while the other five are not.The Leafs have been working very hard this season to try reach the playoffs. In fact, they even lead the NHL in blocked shots. Can they get the job done and end the longest current playoff drought in the NHL?Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North AmericaMore Great Content                                                                                         Video: Top 10 Malkin Plays    JVR will lead Leafs to playoffs    Staal hit in face with puck
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