Toronto Maple Leafs Will Face Old Nemesis in Round One

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will finish the 2023-24 NHL regular season as the third seed in the Atlantic Division. They will face the number two seed Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost game 81 of the regular season to the Florida Panthers, while the Bruins lost to the Ottawa Senators in regulation. Therefore, the Panthers are the number one seed, and the Bruins fall to the number two seed. It's not the outcome that many were predicting, as for the last week or so, all fans and media members were talking about was the rematch between the Leafs and Panthers.

Credit to the Panthers, who finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak to claim first place. The Bruins finished the season on a two-game losing streak, thus losing their hold of the top spot. A new chapter in the Leafs and Bruins story is about to be written. Hopefully, this chapter will favor the Leafs.

Some will point out that the Bruins swept their regular season matchup with the Leafs 4-0, but if history has proven anything, it's that the regular season results mean nothing come playoff time.

The last time a team (Ottawa) swept the Leafs in the regular season (2000-01), the Leafs swept them in the playoffs. As of Thursday morning, the Leafs need to hit the reset button and change their focus to playoff mode.

Toronto Maple Leafs Round One Matchup Against Boston Bruins

When looking at the Leafs and Bruins four games this season, the Bruins won easily.

They outscored the Leafs 14-7, were 30% on the power-play compared to 9.1% for the Leafs, and the Bruins goaltending had a save percentage of .949 compared to the Leafs .891. It's safe to say that a few things must change for the Leafs to find success in round one. (Stats from

The history between these two teams has not been kind to the Leafs.

From the third-period collapse during game seven in 2013 to the most recent playoff matchup in 2019 when the Leafs held a 3-2 series lead but lost games six and seven.

The time has come for the Leafs to prove the doubters wrong and finally find a way to beat the Bruins.

Having players like Tyler Bertuzzi, Ryan Reaves, and Simon Benoit will help the Leafs set a tone, but the Leafs stars will need to shine if they hope for a series win.

Auston Matthews is closing in on a 70 goal season, but it will mean little if the Leafs once again fail to advance very far in the playoffs. The Leafs will need to carry their league-leading 5v5 offense into the playoffs for once, and are relying on having more scoring from the bottom of their lineup this year to get it done.


Most of all, however, as in any series, this is going to come down to goaltending. The Bruins have the better goaltending on paper, but the Leafs have two capable options as well. The Leafs don't necessarily need their goalies to be better than Boston's in order to win. They just hold them in games until the offense can get going.