NHL Playoff Bracket if the season ended today for the Maple Leafs

It looks like the Maple Leafs will finish third in the Atlantic, and they wouldn’t have an easy matchup in the current NHL Playoff Bracket if the season ended today.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have been a rather dominant team lately, and it’s given them a solid lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic. However, finishing third in the Atlantic won’t make the postseason easy if you check out the current NHL Playoff Bracket, which would have Toronto playing the mighty Florida Panthers. 

Florida sits just one notch below the Boston Bruins, and there have been times when the Panthers have been the best team in the NHL. Fortunately, you can say the same for Toronto during certain stretches, including recently, but they have yet to reach the same type of consistency as Florida. 

If Florida and Boston keep flip-flopping playoff spots, it still won’t matter, given Toronto’s recent losses against the Bruins - one of just a few teams they haven’t beaten lately. 

NHL Playoff Bracket not looking promising for the Maple Leafs

At this point, the only way to avoid a matchup with Florida (or Boston) would be for the Maple Leafs to go on a roll for the last month of the season while hoping the Bruins and Panthers lose more games than they win. But even that would be a stretch since Toronto is a far cry from passing either team. 

Their best logical bet would be to keep playing consistent hockey from now until the playoffs begin, then build on that momentum. Toronto has been scoring consistently all season, with 241 goals in 66 games, good for 3.65 per, and that could be tough for a team like Florida to keep pace with should the Panthers slip up defensively. 

But with 165 goals allowed in 68 games, which ranks second in the NHL and 2.42 per game, such an outcome isn’t likely. Boston isn’t as hot defensively, but they aren’t far behind Florida should we see them ultimately take second in the Atlantic. They are still eighth in the league with 190 goals allowed, so either way, Toronto wouldn’t have an easy series.

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)