February 14, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle talks to his players during the 2nd period against the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Maple Leafs 3-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs are Finally in the Playoffs!

Apr 20, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their victory against the Ottawa Senators at the end of the third period at Scotiabank Place. The Leafs defeated the Senators 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs fans are rejoicing, it has been a long wait but finally the Leafs have made the playoffs! However the battle is only half over and the question is how far into the playoffs will they make it. The Leafs have been a inconsistent team this season, not as inconsistent as last year but still inconsistent. This last week was not their best effort, even though they won a couple of games they still all did not look like a playoff team.

Apr 20, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul (19) scores on Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the third period at Scotiabank Place. The Leafs defeated the Senators 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of looking at the negatives of the game on Saturday, I’m going to praise those who deserve credit for the win. First is James Reimer. He faced 50 shots and surrendered only one. That is a feat for someone who’s job has been questioned a lot this season. He will come to play in the playoffs I’m sure of it. The other person I give credit to is Joffrey Lupul he may have only had one goal, but that goal was all his and was a thing of beauty. I have no doubt he will shine in the playoffs, he’s been there before.

However the person who deserves the most credit for bringing the Leafs to the Stanley Cup Playoffs is Randy Carlyle. In my opinion anyone who could turn the Leafs into a playoff team deserves the Jack Adams Award. Carlyle completely changed the Leafs style of play and that made all the difference. There wasn’t that much of a difference in the roster this season compared to last and most of the differences that were there weren’t decisions by the GM, they were all Carlyle. He worked to make the Leafs a more defensively oriented team because that is their strength and it worked.

How far do you think the Leafs will go? Who do you think will shine in the playoffs? Share your thoughts in the comment box below, on facebook, on twitter (@kcapp22 or @TMMotS), or by email ([email protected]).

Tags: James Reimer Joffrey Lupul Playoff Push Randy Carlyle Toronto Maple Leafs

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