Can Leafs Squash Playoff Woes? What It Could Mean For Bruins

If the Leafs and Bruins both advance, they would meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals


Apr 25, 2023

It was 2013. The score was 4-1.

Everyone in Boston and Toronto knows what happens next — the Bruins rallied for one of the biggest comebacks in NHL history, defeating the Maple Leafs in Game 7.

Toronto has won 13 Stanley Cups in franchise history, but the Leafs haven’t won a first-round playoff series since 2004, and it was only one round before they were eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The last time they won two rounds was in 2002, when they defeated the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators before falling to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Before that, there has been even more misery for the Leafs and their fans — they haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. Since then, the Leafs have missed the playoffs 21 times, lost in the first round 19 times, advanced to the second round nine times and lost in the conference finals five times.

At what point does this Toronto core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares leave the pressure behind them and just go out and win a series? They’ve lost their last six straight appearances, but did general manager Kyle Dubas give head coach Sheldon Keefe the missing pieces to complement the core four?

Monday’s overtime comeback win for Toronto is a sign they have learned from the past and could be poised to advance to the next round.

With a 3-1 lead in the series, Toronto can close out the best-of-seven quarterfinals on Thursday night at home, and if the Bruins can close out the Florida Panthers in Game 5 on Wednesday, it would mean the two franchises would meet for the seventeenth time in the postseason.

The Bruins are expected to have captain Patrice Bergeron in the lineup against the Panthers for the first time in the series which should give the Black and Gold more ammunition to close out the series.

If Boston and Toronto do meet in round two, the all-time series between the two clubs is tied at eight a piece, but the Bruins have shattered the Leafs’ and their fans’ postseason hopes in the last six series dating back to 1969 and the most recent in 2019.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka
Previous Article

What Joe Mazzulla Texted Ime Udoka After Ex-Celtics Coach Lands Rockets Job

Ex-NBA head coach Stephen Silas
Next Article

Celtics Coaching Staff Gets Intriguing Visit Ahead Of Game 5 Vs. Hawks

Picked For You