The probability of a playoff berth was diminished on Thursday as the Leafs lost to Philly and Buffalo beat Boston. It is 5% less likely today that the Leafs will make the playoffs than it was yesterday. As a Red Wings fan I always enjoy taunting my Leaf fan friends with their team's futility, but on the other hand it is better for the game of hockey to have the team with the largest fan base competitive. If you are someone who is beginning a life as an amateur sports blogger, who makes ice for a living at a curling rink, you should be cheering for the overall success of the winter sports and recreation business. My next job might be making hockey ice, and the better the Leafs are, the more successful the business of hockey is.
Maybe I take for granted that Leaf fans are willing to put up with extended periods of futility before they stop watching. If they actually do stop watching, it is bad for the business. I may be a Red Wings fan from the heady days of the Norris division who grew up wishing failure upon the Toronto Maple Leafs, but perhaps I should want them to be competitive because it is better for the sport? How many consecutive non playoff years would it take for half of Leaf Nation to tune out the sport altogether?