Toronto, currently 10th in the East and seven points out of a playoff spot, is barely hanging on to a season that has been inconsistent from the start. But the captain and coach continued to show their resolve to reporters.
"I'm 35 and I realize I'm not at the start of my career anymore," Sundin told local reporters before notching two points in the Leafs' 3-2 win. "It's frustrating to see us out of a playoff spot. I think we're all frustrated, we're all used to seeing us do better. But we still have a chance and we still have to battle.
"I'm disappointed about the season. Our playoffs started a couple of weeks back and we have a lot of games to play to try to make it in. That's where all my focus is right now."
And it is quite the battle. With just 74 points, Toronto would have to win eight of its last 10 games to reach the 90-point plateau. The Leafs would also need help -- as in losses -- from Atlanta, Montreal, New Jersey and Tampa Bay if they want a shot at the postseason.
Quinn has seemed to come under more scrutiny from the Toronto press than Sundin. Since joining the Leafs before the 1998-99 season, Quinn has led the team into the playoffs each season, but Toronto has failed to get past the conference finals. Despite the danger that the Leafs might not make the playoffs, Quinn said he is not thinking about his job security.
"You try to focus on things you have some control over. The job for me is to come to work every day and help these players become better players. The focus is on today. Sure, we're struggling, our record shows that ... and what happens down the road is going to happen. But I can't lose my sense of priority -- and that is for the present."
Quinn has one more year left on his contract, but Toronto media have speculated that he will be let go after this season. The rumors have also swirled that Sundin could make an exit, as well. The captain has one year left on his contract, which has a no-trade clause. Reports have indicated that the Maple Leafs could try to trade him this summer or send him to a contending team come next season's trade deadline.
Sundin said he isn't thinking about all of that right now.
"There's bigger issues right now," Sundin told reporters. "That other stuff hasn't crossed my mind."