The nine-year wait officially ended Saturday night with a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Now, the Toronto Maple Leafs can finally look ahead to the Stanley Cup playoffs, a place they haven’t competed in since Paul Martin was Canada’s Prime Minister.
In surveilling the potential opponents for the Leafs, there appears to be some favourable matchups, combined with a few fans would prefer to stay away from.
For instance, if the playoffs were to start today (check out our blog here), Toronto would be facing the Montreal Canadiens. At first glance, it would appear to be a very desirable first-round series considering the Leafs have owned the Habs this season as the team boasts a 3-1 record including two blowout victories.
The Ottawa Senators could also be a good fit into this advantageous category. No matter how good the Senators were in the regular season from 1999-2004, they couldn’t overcome the Leafs, who dominated the Battle of Ontario by winning all four playoff series in a five-year stretch. Toronto is also 4-1 against Ottawa this season.
On the other side, teams like Boston and Pittsburgh present major problems. Aside from the three points Toronto took in a home-and-home battle against the Bruins early this season, Boston has manhandled the Leafs for the last couple of years.
The Penguins, even without Sidney Crosby, have clearly been the class of the Eastern Conference. They also hope to have Crosby back for the start of the playoffs. No team in the conference can match the scoring depth of the Pens.
So which team would you like to see the Leafs face in the first round?
Vote in our poll and have you say in the comment section below.