Pick Your Poison: the Toronto Maple Leafs 1st Round Options

Dec 9, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) skates past Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (41) in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) skates past Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (41) in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs   Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs   Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Bruins

Regular Season Record: 41-19-5 (9th)
3.05 Goals per game (16th)
35.8 SOG per game (3rd)
23.7% on PP (9th)
2.65 Goals against per game (5th)
28.9 SOG against per game (3rd)
81.6% on PK (8th)

The big bad boogeyman Boston Bruins are lurking just beneath the surface, and some Toronto Maple Leafs fans may be nervous.

The Maple Leafs and Bruins met each other just earlier this week, with the winner taking sole possession of third in the tight Atlantic division. The  Leafs did prevail over the Bruins, and in pretty convincing fashion, winning 6-4 in the end, although the game was never really that close.

These two teams also met earlier in the year with the Leafs easily handling the Bruins in that match up as well. This past game however, may be a harbinger of what worries Leafs fans about this potential first round series.

Injuries (and suspensions) have plagued the Toronto Maple Leafs over their most recent playoff exits. Last year, captain John Tavares was taken out of the series in game one, and defenseman Jake Muzzin did not play the last two games of the series with an injury. Muzzin also missed the last, and deciding,  game of the Leafs five game bubble series versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.

And then there were the two series against the Bruins. The  Leafs lost two heart wrenching game 7s in back to back years against the Bruins, with Nazem Kadri succumbing to the Bruins hard play and making terrible plays leading to suspensions.

The last meeting between Toronto and Boston saw one goaltender and two defensemen leave the game with injury and not return. A first round match up against the Bruins could give the Toronto Maple Leafs all they could handle and more. It will test their lineup depth, and be their biggest mental test of any possible first round match up.

They play a tight team defense first type of game, and combat the Bruins physicality with their own physicality, much like the most recent game between the two.

Next. Leafs Top Ten Prospects. dark

It will be extremely interesting to see who the Leafs end up playing, but one thing is for sure: There are no easy matchups.