Here's how the Leafs can clinch home ice in the first round tonight

Published April 24, 2022 at 2:59 PM
BY BRADLEY CELSIE
Currently at a franchise record 109 points (51-21-7), with three games remaining, the Toronto Maple Leafs have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs well within their reach. The Tampa Bay Lightning currently sit five points back of the Leafs, with four games remaining. Both teams are in action tonight.

If the Lightning lose against the Florida Panthers tonight, and the Leafs beat Washington Capitals, the Leafs will clinch second place in the Atlantic division, guaranteeing them home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Leafs can also clinch tonight if they can at least make it to overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning lose in regulation time.


At this point, it is likely the Leafs will play the Lightning in the first round. Clinching home ice is the last thing worth playing for this season. After tonight against the Panthers, Tampa Bay's three remaining games are against non-playoff teams (Columbus Blue Jackets twice and the New York Islanders once). The Leafs only have two games remaining after tonight, one against the non-playoff Detroit Red Wings and the other against the playoff bound Boston Bruins.


The Leafs clinching tonight could allow them to give any players with nagging injuries a game or two off prior to the start of the playoffs. Even if the Leafs' management team does not chose to rest anyone after clinching, having the option is always an asset.
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