Teams buried at the bottom of their respective conferences at this point of the season need to look everywhere for their motivation through the end of the season. The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have to look beyond their locker room and their general manager’s office for that added incentive.
As Rob Longley of Sun Media reports today, the Leafs — winners of three in a row entering play Tuesday — are openly discussing their goal of making sure the Bruins get the absolute worst draft position possible with the Toronto first-round pick that came over in the Phil Kessel trade.
Even Kessel isn’t shying away from talk of making sure GM Brian Burke doesn’t look bad come draft day.
“Obviously Burkie believed in me and I want to do anything I can do to help this hockey team and make him look good for believing in me,” Kessel said in the Longley story. “Hopefully we keep going, get some more wins and just keep building.”
The Leafs conceivably could move up from 15th in the conference to 11th, if they keep their hot streak going. That would spoil Bruins fans’ mood more than another injury hitting one of the teams’ top players.
The Bruins will get one more chance to keep the Leafs down April 3 in Toronto. But until then, the Bruins will focus on their own playoff positioning and how the Leafs fare against other opposition.