4 Must-Haves For Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Success

Florida Panthers v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five
Florida Panthers v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Spring is finally here and the annual agony known as Toronto Maple Leafs playoff hockey is rapidly approaching.  Once again, fans will be hoping that regular season success will translate into a long Stanley Cup run.

Unlike the last few years, this year’s Toronto Maple Leafs roster has been unable to hide its biggest faults, particularly a weak defensive group and inconsistent goaltending.  Despite these glaring weaknesses, the team has still been able to put up a pretty decent .644 points percentage (per StatMuse.com), good for 10th overall in the league.

Many folks will (not unreasonably) say that the team just hasn’t shown enough strength to be called a contender for the Cup this year.  However, those are likely the same ones who (also not unreasonably) claim that regular season results mean very little once the post-season begins.

Let’s not (ever!) forget last season’s Boston Bruins team, which set an all-time regular season record with 135 points, only to bow out shamefully in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the Florida Panthers.

That same Florida team, which barely snuck into the playoffs, made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals (dispatching the Leafs in Round 2) before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.

What Do The Playoffs Have In Store For The Toronto Maple Leafs?

It’s highly likely that the Toronto Maple Leafs will face either Boston or Florida in Round 1 of this year’s playoffs.  In other words, they have to find a way to beat either their long-time kryptonite nemesis (the Bruins) or the team that last year ended their brief playoff winning streak at one (Florida).  You may recall that the Leafs got beat up (literally) and “goalied“ by the Panthers.

So, what do the Toronto Maple Leafs need in order to advance to Round 2 of this year’s playoffs?  Let’s have a look……..