3 reasons why the Maple Leafs will maintain a top-three spot for the NHL playoffs

The NHL playoffs are just over a month away and the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing in a conference whose playoff picture remains unsettled.

Carolina Hurricanes v Toronto Maple Leafs
Carolina Hurricanes v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Nine of Toronto’s remaining games are against struggling hockey teams

Easy opponents don’t exist in March and April, and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing the Florida Panthers or the Montreal Canadiens. Florida is looking to earn a first seed and another Presidents’ Trophy, and you know that they will take their physical style to another level from now until they either win the Cup or if someone knocks them out of the playoffs. Teams like Montreal are going nowhere, but teams out of contention can be frustrating with an unpredictable playing style. 

Toronto is lucky, as quite a few of their games are coming against teams on the playoff bubble that are also struggling to find consistency. They play the New Jersey Devils three times, the Washington Capitals twice, the Buffalo Sabres, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Red Wings, and the Flyers, nine games total, among other matchups. 

Expect the above teams to bring their A-Game, but they will also keep trying to play to their respective strengths, something that hasn’t been consistent for any of them throughout the 2023-24 season. They won’t be so unpredictable like a non-contender in the Canadiens, and none of those teams match Toronto in talent, giving the Maple Leafs an advantage down the stretch.