Toronto Maple Leafs: Who Will be Their Playoff X-Factor?

Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
1 of 6

The Toronto Maple Leafs have seven games remaining in the 2023-24 regular season and already clinched a playoff spot prior to their game last night against the Montreal Canadiens. Their final two games of the season, on April 16th (Florida Panthers) and April 17th (Tampa Bay Lightning), could have implications on the playoff standings.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting in third place within the Atlantic Division with 95 points as of Saturday morning.

The Florida Panthers are in second place with 101 points, while the Tampa Bay Lightning are holding the first wildcard spot with 93 points. Tampa is trying to catch the Leafs, the Leafs are trying to catch the Panthers, and the Panthers are trying to catch the Boston Bruins, who hold first place in the Atlantic Division with 103 points.

A lot can happen in two weeks, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

It will be interesting to see who the Leafs will play in the first round. On one hand, it would be nice to get revenge against the Panthers, who knocked the Leafs out in the second-round last season.

However, the Leafs have a dragon that needs slaying, and that dragon is the Bruins. The Leafs slayed one dragon last season when they defeated the Lightning. Will they find a way to slay another?

As we all know, playoff hockey is a different animal than regular-season hockey. Many factors can result in winning or losing a playoff series.

The Leafs have many skilled players who can score, but which players will be their x-factor? Who will be the player(s) who end up being the deciding factor in winning a series? Here is a look at who I think the Leafs x-factor could be.