It is a bite-your-tongue conversation that has to be had at some point soon.

Bite your tongue. Cross your toes. Hold your breath. Do whatever it takes to tame whatever jinx you believe goes with it.

But with just a dozen games remaining for the Maple Leafs following Saturday’s latest renewal of the Battle of Ontario against the Senators, you’d better believe people are starting to think about it.

Of course, whenever you mention the Leafs and playoffs in the same tweet or column, the angst-driven feedback is swift. People who live and die by the franchise have seen too many collapses in too many ways through the three different coaches and three different general managers since the team last qualified for the post-season.

But now that they are solidly in sixth (and let’s face it, better equipped to challenge for fifth than to drift downward) it is just too tempting not to look ahead.

And here’s a very real possibility, however premature, that is as delicious as it gets: How about a Leafs-Canadiens matchup in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs a month and change from now?