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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Team Defence and Goaltending

The most obvious answer on how any team can win any series is if they get great goaltending. Unfortunately, I'm not high on the Leafs goaltending this year.

Samsonov is shaky and Woll hasn't been the same since he got back from the high ankle sprain he suffered against the Ottawa Senators. Ullmark and Swayman would both be starters on the Leafs and Boston has them as a tandem.

So how are the Leafs going to be able to overcome this? They're going to have to be fully committed to a strong defensive game.

I'm not the biggest fan of the blue line the Leafs have constructed this year so now more than ever the forwards are going to need to be steady in their end at all times. Losing defensively responsible guys like Pierre Engval, Alex Kerfoot, Noel Acciari, Ryan O'Reilly, and Zach Aston-Reese on the forward core and replacing them with guys like Max Domi have hurt the Leafs defensively this season. The Leafs have to keep it simple in their end and limit the number of mind-numbing mistakes they make.

Physicality From the Stars

In prior years, the Leafs have been considered soft, but this year it's been a different story. In this series, the Leafs are going in with more grit than any other year however what matters is how the core will respond.

If Marner, Nylander or Matthews shy away from any physicality and let Boston hinder the way they play the series is already over. The stars on this team need to be okay with the physicality and get into scrums or even just defend themselves.

Physicality also isn't just hitting and fighting, it is how you play the game. The majority, if not all, of the goals Matthews scored last year, came right in front of the net. If Matthews, Nylander, and Marner all want to play a perimeter style of hockey then the Leafs are done.


Matthews needs to continue to go to the net because that's how he is going to score in the playoffs as the space he has in the regular season won't be there. Nylander needs to drive the net and we finally need to see Marner take the game over like he is capable of.