How the Toronto Maple Leafs Matchup against 3 Potential Playoff Opponents

How do the Maple Leafs matchup against their three most likely playoff opponents: Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers - Game Four
Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers - Game Four / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the final stretch of the season, and much of the talk is about who they will match up against in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

They are set to finish third in the Atlantic division and play the Florida Panthers, the team that ended their season last year in five games. The Toronto Maple Leafs are six points behind the Panthers, with a game in hand, a differential that seems unlikely to close this late in the season.

But, the Panthers are only two points back of the Boston Bruins for first in the Atlantic, so if the Maple Leafs were to hold onto third in the division, they could face the black and gold for the third time in the past seven years.

Another divisional rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning, is directly below them in the standings, four points behind the Maple Leafs in the first wild card. Tampa Bay has been on fire in their last ten games, with a record of 8-1-1; it looks like they have regained form from a couple of years ago.

If Tampa were to catch Toronto, the Leafs would be bumped into the first wild card for the first time since 2016-17, when they faced the Washington Capitals in the first round and lost in 6 games.

If the Leafs finish in the wild card this season, they would most likely draw the New York Rangers. New York struggled in the playoffs last year, being bounced in the first round and made no significant changes in the offseason.

Personally, I would not be opposed to the Maple Leafs dropping into a wild card spot and rolling the dice with the Metro division this year. With that, let's take a look at how the Maple Leafs match up against their three most likely playoff opponents.