Toronto Maple Leafs Catch a Break, Will Absolutely Destroy Bruins in Round One

Mar 7, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) checks Toronto
Mar 7, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) checks Toronto / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Florida Panthers, but they get the last laugh with a much better playoff matchup for the first round.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Boston Bruins, who choked down the stretch and lost the division title they held pretty much all season long.

The Florida Panthers might be the best team in the NHL, while the Bruins are easily the most overrated and the biggest over-achievers.

The Bruins lost three of their last four games to close out the season, and now they are going lose four of their next seven as well.

Toronto Maple Leafs Catch a Break, Will Beat Bruins in Round One

There is no way to look at this but as a great break for the Leafs. Sure, it's possible Boston might win, but it's far more likely that the Leafs win because they have a much, much better roster than the Bruins do.

Look, the Leafs don't have anyone on their team that is anywhere close to Charlie McAvoy, and I'm guessing that Hampus Lindholm would also be the best defenseman on the Leafs (it'd be close) but after than, the Bruins roster is kind of bad.

Smoke and Mirrors. That's what their roster is.

Pasternak, McAvoy, Marchand, and their goalies are great. After that, they are not deep and they don't have many stars.

The Leafs are going to go through the Bruins like a hot knife through butter. The Leafs can put a super-star on their top three lines, offering up Matthews-Tavares down the middle, while Boston will be countering with Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle on their top two lines.

Add in the fact that Auston Matthews hasn't scored on his last 32 playoff scoring chances, and I think Boston is in a world of trouble.

The Leafs roster is the weakest its been in several years, but it's still chalk-full of superstars. The Blue-Line is the Leafs weakness, but it should hold together for at least one round.

Barring Ilya Samsonov falling on his face, this series should be the Leafs without much trouble.

Florida was going to be a heavy favorite against the Leafs with home-ice, but I don't think that matters so much here. The Leafs are a superior team and the Bruins are a team that rode an insane goaltending heater into almost two-years of dominance.

Last year Boston goalies saved almost 94% of the 5v5 shots they saw on the way to one of the best regular seasons of all-time. This year, they were "just" saving 93% of the shots they faced.

The defense is suffocating and the goalies are great. But they haven't had to face the NHL's #1 offense every single game either.

I don't think Boston has a hope in hell of stopping the Auston Matthews Show, which is overdue for a playoff showing or two.


Leafs in four straight. Five if they get unlucky.