What the Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Lineup Should Look Like

Toronto Maple Leafs - Morgan Rielly (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Morgan Rielly (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs – Morgan Rielly (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have all-but-mathematically clinched a playoff spot.  While I guess it is technically possible that the Leafs could go on a six game losing streak to finish the year, it’s virtually impossible for Vancouver to win enough games to make it happen.

The Toronto Maple Leafs most likely scenario is an opening round match-up vs the Montreal Canadiens. The Leafs and Canadiens haven’t met in a playoff series since 1979, a year so far in the past that the songs romanticizing it are now considered retro.

Assuming the Leafs and Canadiens meet up as planned, this is probably the worst of the possible first round opponents the Leafs could get.  Don’t get me wrong – they will be heavy, heavy favorites, but for a team coming off one of the worst examples of “getting goalied” in NHL history, Carey Price isn’t exactly the guy you want to face.

Now is it possible that Carey Price is the most overrated player in the history of the NHL? I won’t answer until round two.  Price aside, Montreal makes for an interesting matchup, as they are statistically a very good team and one could say they are the second-best in the Canadian Division.

My personal view is that elite players trump all else, and therefore Montreal’s inability to match their great team stats with actual results is predictable.  The Habs may have a very good top-to-bottom lineup, but until they augment it with at least one top ten player, they aren’t going to be anything better than a bubble team. (All stats for this article will be from naturalstattrick.com and be 5v5 unless otherwise noted).

It’s all well and good to think about the team they’ll have to play, but the real question for today is what lineup should the extremely deep Toronto Maple Leafs team use in the playoffs?  The options are unlimited, and given the quality of the team, there is no real wrong answer, but here’s my two cents.’