The Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Opponent Decided Tonight

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins / Elsa/GettyImages

For months the Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the NHL's best teams but somehow failed to gain any ground on the two teams ahead of them in the league's most ridiculously hard division.

Since January 18 - when they won their first game following a four-game losing streak - the Toronto Maple Leafs are 25-11-2, and were among six teams that competed for first-place during the second half of the season. They finished just six point behind Carolina for first place in the NHL during this time.

The Leafs - who didn't have Marner, while Carolina added Guentzel - played at a President's Trophy level for nearly half a season and they gained only two points on Florida and four on Boston during that entire time.

So ultimately, the Leafs early season struggles cost them big-time and they'll start the playoffs on the road against either Florida or Boston.

Which one will depend on the the Bruins' final game of the season, and maybe Florida and Toronto's as well. (stats

The Leafs Playoff Opponent Possibly Decided Tonight

The Bruins play the Senators tonight in Ottawa and it's the closest thing the Senators have had to an important game in about a decade!!!

If Boston wins, they win the Division with 111 points, because the most Florida can end up with is 110.

The Bruins lost to the Washington Capitals last night 2-0, which set off all sorts of craziness - the Capitals remain alive, while the Leafs don't know who they'll be playing for at least another day.

If Boston loses tonight, the Leafs will control their own fate. Beat Florida and they play Florida. Lose to Florida and they play Boston.

Does it really matter?

It doesn't.

Either way, the Leafs, Bruins and Panthers are fairly even teams. The Leafs have a significantly better offense, and both the other teams are better at practically everything else.

Will Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner finally have decent results in the playoffs? That's the only question, because that is what will decide how far the Leafs go.

The Leafs - ironically - enter the playoffs as the most one-dimensional offense-first team they have ever been. (They are the NHL's highest scoring 5v5 team, but much worse at goaltending and defense, statistically, than they were last year or any of the recent years before that).


I see Boston and Florida as equally challenging, and I don't really have a preference as to who they play. I predict that the Leafs will win either series fairly easily.