4 Keys to Success in the Playoffs for the Toronto Maple Leafs

What things do the Leafs need to do right in the Stanley Cup playoffs to be successful?
Mar 4, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe leads the way
Mar 4, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe leads the way / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Star Players Need to Lead the Way

One of biggest keys to success in the playoffs is having the star players carry the team on their shoulders and lead the offensive attack. Last season, the core four of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, along with Morgan Rielly combined for a whopping 42 points in six games to help lead the Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first 1st round series win in over two decades.

Just to put it into perspective, the rest of the entire team combined for just 23 points in total. So there’s no question that the big guns need to be responsible in leading the charge.

However, when the Leafs encountered the ruthless Florida Panthers during the second round of the playoffs last year, their star power was ultimately shut down by the smothering Panthers’ defense. In the end, the core four along with Rielly were held collectively to only 13 points over the span of five games in the series.

The Leafs secondary scoring did manage to help pick them up a bit, putting up a total of 16 points, but it wasn’t enough as the star power outage essentially put an end to the Leafs run for the Stanley Cup in 2023. (All stats from NHL.com and hockey-reference.com)

In order for sustained success in the playoffs this season, the stars on the Leafs roster will need to somehow find a way to maintain their prolific offensive potential no matter what ends up getting thrown at them.


If they manage to get shut down once again this year, forget about the Stanley Cup, as they likely won’t even get out of the Atlantic Division series. As a result, their unfathomable streak of playoff failure would be sadly extended for another year.