Toronto Maple Leafs: Tough Five-Game Set Crucial Before All Star Break

January 16th, 2011 by Jon Neely Leave a reply »
With less than two weeks remaining until the All Star break kicks in, most of the Toronto Maple Leaf players will be looking forward to a few days off away from the ice. The team's lone All Star in Phil Kessel, on the other hand, will be forced to play a meaningless game with the league's best, instead of taking some time to rest his body from the rigors of an NHL season. 

But before anyone on the team can think of family time, or the weekend festivities in Carolina on Jan. 28 and 29, they have a tough five-game platter on the horizon that could prove crucial to where they end up at the end of the 2010-11 campaign. 

The Leafs have been hot of late, with an impressive 5-2-1 record since bringing in the New Year, and must continue the trend if they plan on even coming close to the playoffs being a possibility this season. 

After a lack-luster shootout loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, the club sits in 12th in the Eastern Conference with 41 points, ten points behind the eighth-place Atlanta Thrashers (but with three games in hand on the stumbling Thrash). 

Right now, the important thing is not that eighth spot ...

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