Top 3 reasons why the Boston Bruins will win Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs

The Boston Bruins head into the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, looking to put last season’s early exit deep into the rearview mirror.
Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup aspirations may have ended early last season, so you can expect an ultra-motivated team to show up for the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It all begins on April 20th against a heated rival, and you couldn’t ask for a better series when you check out the entire slate of games for Round 1. 

If we had Rangers-Isles or Oilers-Canucks, that might have changed some. Sure, you got the Florida teams going at it, but when it comes to the Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs, there are 100 years of intense hockey built up. 

Yet you can honestly argue that, despite how intense and physical this playoff series will be, that the Bruins hold an edge here. Let’s talk about why Boston will end this series against Toronto with a W and advance to the Second Round. 

The Bruins already know how to beat Toronto

In case you haven’t heard, the Bruins swept the Maple Leafs, and they did so by an average of 3.75 to 1.75 goals per game. This isn’t saying the Maple Leafs didn’t give Boston a rough time, as their first contest ended in a shootout, and their second game ended in overtime. 

But Boston made quick work of the Maple Leafs in their third meeting, winning by a score of 4-1, and this came in a contest when they recorded starts in the offensive zone just 22.2 percent of the time with a Corsi For of 42.1 and a faceoff win percentage of 44.4 percent. And remember, the Leafs also had four power play opportunities, yet converted none of them. 

Fast-forward to March 7th, which served as the season finale between the two teams, and the Bruins again edged out the Leafs by three goals. Once again, they looked awful on paper, or should have, winning just 24.4 percent of their faceoffs with a Corsi For of 42.5 percent. Once again, Boston’s penalty kill all but stifled the Leafs, who scored just one goal in four opportunities. 

Overall, Boston has shown us that defensively, Toronto’s scorers have yet to figure them out. Playoff hockey may be different from regular season hockey, but unless Toronto comes up with something, it’s tough to be confident in the Leafs.