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The unfortunate part of a late-season charge for a playoff spot is that no matter how well you play, a little help from others is always necessary.

Maple Leafs fans have been forced to do a lot of scoreboard watching lately, and it has been an exercise in major frustration. The Sabres, Rangers and Hurricanes have all done enough during the home stretch of the regular season to keep the Leafs firmly rooted in tenth place. Times are so desperate that Toronto fans will be hoping for a big win by the Boston Bruins tonight.

Mirtle and I are working on some end-of-season plans for this space, which will likely include an online chat and podcast before the playoffs begin. He's at practice this afternoon and will file to the blog later in the day.

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Until then, the links:

David Shoalts on the why the numbers are so bleak for the Leafs.

Mirtle speaks to James Reimer about his faith and the impact it has on his play.

National Post reporter (and new dad!) Sean Fitz-Gerald on the fresh optimism surrounding the Leafs.

Michael Traikos at the Post argues a lack of scoring depth cost the Leafs a playoff spot this season.

Toronto Star reporter Kevin McGran on a painful day of scoreboard watching for the Leafs.

Been a little tense during this playoff push? General manager Brian Burke feels your pain.

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The Hockey News takes a look at Leafs prospect Joe Colborne.

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