Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins: Game 5 Preview

The Leafs will take on the Bruins on Tuesday night in a must-win game. With their backs against the wall, will the Leafs live to fight another day? Or will they fall short yet again?
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

It's safe to say the Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 playoff run hasn't gone according to plan so far.

Being down 3-1 to their longtime rivals and only putting the puck in the net seven times in four games is clearly not the outcome the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking for.

The first round is of course not over until it's over, and the Leafs themselves know best that a 3-1 series lead means nothing until a team has won four times.

The Toronto Maple Leafs still have a legit shot at beating the Boston Bruins, but a lot will need to change in order for that to happen.

With that being said, here's a preview of Game 5 with the Leafs season on the line.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins: Game 5 Preview

What's Gone Wrong So Far

Failing to put the puck in the back of the net has been a recurring theme for the Leafs in their past playoff years, most notably vs the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2020 and the Florida Panthers in last year's playoffs.

Even against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team who the Leafs averaged 3.6 goals per game against over the 2022 and 2023 playoffs, still only managed eight goals in four potential series-clinching games during the same time frame.

If the Leafs want to beat the Bruins they'll need to put the puck past Jeremy Swayman at least three times a game (or more), which they have not done against him since April 29th, 2022, exactly two years to the day of this article being written.

Adding to the scoring issue is the lack of production from the entire Leafs team, not just the stars. No Leafs player has scored more than once in these playoffs through four games, and although Auston Matthews has three points in the series, all of them came in game 2.

Putting the puck in the net (and figuring out their power play) is the most important thing if the Leafs want to move on to round 2.


It's no secret that Jeremy Swayman has owned the Leafs so far in this series. The Bruins netminder has put up a very impressive .956 SV% and 1.34 GAA in the series, both of which lead the NHL.

On the Leafs side, Ilya Samsonov has been better than his stats say, but still not great. Though Samsonov has gotten little goal help from his team, Swayman has clearly outplayed him, and it hasn't been close.

The Leafs are most likely going to be going with Joseph Woll in this game, although nothing has been confirmd as of this article being published.

In my opinion (and many others) Joseph Woll should get the start for game 5. Woll has a strong 2.23 GAA and .919 SV% in his playoff career and though it is a small sample size, I think it's time for him to finally get a start in this series.

Final Thoughts

While the series hasn't gone their way so far, history may be on the Leafs side in this game 5. They came back from 3-1 series deficits to Boston in both 2013 and 2018 to force game 7s both times. On top of this, since 2018 the Leafs are 4-1 in games where they are the only team that can face elimination.

While they may not be the most clutch team in the league, they at least know how to keep a series going and won't go down without a fight.

If I had to make a prediction for game 5, I would pick the Leafs winning 4-3 in overtime, with William Nylander scoring the winner.

A lot needs to go right for the Leafs to win this series, but if they do it, they could go down as one of the most iconic series in team history.


Let's see if they can pull it off.