4 Key Factors in the Maple Leafs Upsetting the Bruins

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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Stars Playing Like Stars

If Matthews, Marner, Nylander and Tavares play like they're paid, the Leafs win this series.

The thing about that sentence is the Leafs haven't had all four of these guys play like they can in a single series at the same time, throughout this era of Leafs teams. 

Every year after every playoff loss, you look at this core and wonder where they went. Probably the most complete performance we've seen from these guys in a playoff series was last year against the Tampa Bay Lightning and even then I don't think Marner played his best hockey.

On paper, the Leafs are a much deeper team offensively but Bobby McMann isn't going to win you a series. The stars will.

The Leafs went on an improbably 0-11 run during elimination games, and that doesn't happen without bad luck - things like Marner going 18 playoff games (or whatever it was) without a goal, or Matthews failing to score on 32 individual scoring chances against Florida last year.

But that said, eventually these guys have to step it up and dominate like they are paid to do. Auston Matthews scores nearly a goal-per-game in the regular season, and if he ever brings that kind of production to the Stanley Cup Playoffs then the Leafs will likely win the Series.