Toronto is cursed when it comes to playing in Buffalo on Fridays, and things were no different on this night as the team fell 3-2 in overtime. Many Maple Leaf fans know that a Friday game in Buffalo is just as popular on the regular season schedule as a Saturday game in Montreal. However, for whatever reason, Toronto can’t seem to escape Buffalo on Fridays despite being able to defeat them on any other day of the week.
The Sabres entered the contest having won seven straight Friday games where they’ve hosted the Maple Leafs. In fact, dating back to the first season after the lockout of 2004-05, Toronto has played 14 games on Fridays in Buffalo, and has a losing record of 3-9-2. The last time the Maple Leafs won in Buffalo on a Friday was a 2-1 victory in 2008 when Ian White scored the game-winner.
When Toronto faces the Sabres in Buffalo on any other night, they nearly have a .500 win percentage. Since the 2004-05 lockout, the Maple Leafs have played 13 other games in Buffalo that weren’t held on Fridays, and Toronto emerged victorious in six of those contests.
Regardless of the Friday night curse in Buffalo, losing their sixth straight game on the road was the last thing the Maple Leafs needed. After Toronto went 3-2 during a five-game homestand, they needed to pick up points on the road during a three-game stretch. Although they’ve managed to pick up two points in two games, they should have earned four.
After slipping to fourth in the Atlantic Division, Toronto now plays in arguably their biggest game of the season against the Montreal Canadiens. Both teams enter the game with 31 points on the year with identical records of 14-9-3. The Maple Leafs defeated the Canadiens in Montreal in the first game of the season by a score of 4-3. However, considering how badly Toronto has played on the road lately, it’s safe to say the Canadiens are the favorites heading into the contest.
After failing to break the Friday night curse in Buffalo, Toronto must rebound by defeating a team that is 7-5-2 on their home ice. The Maple Leafs have already done it once this season, but this time the game means a lot more in the standings as the loser will drop to fifth in the division.