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Roundtable: A successful playoff run

We’ve got two questions this week as the playoffs are just around the corner. 1) Who, between Tampa Bay and Boston, would you want to face in the first round? 2) What does a successful playoff run look like?

Scott “College Boy” Maxwell

1) The key to deciding who would be a better matchup is all dependent on who the Leafs use to matchup against them. If it was Boston, you’d be more inclined to go with a more physical presence like Leo Komarov and Roman Polak. If it was Tampa, you’d be more inclined to go with a more skilled presence like Andreas Johnsson and Connor Carrick. The problem is, Babcock is gonna go with Komarov and Polak regardless of the team. So, in that case, I’d rather the Leafs play Boston.
2) In a fair playoff system, the Leafs would be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, so a successful playoff for them would be winning a round or two. Unfortunately, the NHL’s playoff system is dumb, so the Leafs are playing against the two teams that are better than them. So, a successful playoffs for them would probably be a competitive first round series against Tampa or Boston, and possibly winning the first round.

Some Jontent for your Friday from Yakov Mironov

1) Tampa. Tampa is probably the better team and more likely to eliminate the Leafs, but they are also the better fanbase. I don’t feel like dealing with a bunch of dipshit Sully’s in Tom Brady jerseys shoveling Wahlburgers into their fat mouths.
2) A Successful playoffs, I dunno. I will still give the Leafs the benefit of being the underdogs against their first round opponent so I’m not setting the bar too high. Just win a couple of games and look like a tough opponent, that’s a reasonable expectation. A successful playoffs is making it to the second round.

Thomas “The Rookie” Williams

1) Boston for sure. Just to prove that Toronto is superior to them in every single way and Guru (RIP) is the only good thing to come out of that city in its existence. But does it really matter in the end? The Leafs will face both of them on their way to the ECF.
2) Realistically, I would just hope for a playoff series win and see it as a successful postseason. I hate being realistic though, so all or nothing because why does it matter if they can’t win it all?

Ryan Hobart

1) I believe I’d rather face Boston. I think the Leafs matchup better against them because they are two potent offences with questionable defenses, and I usually trust the team more in those kinds of track meets rather than games where an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The Boston D probably out-matches that of the Leafs slightly, but I believe the 4 scoring lines of Toronto will be too much for them to handle.

2) I think success is winning it all. I mean, that’s the ultimate goal and I don’t see any reason not to shoot for it. But I realistically expect them to lose in a series against Tampa but win in a series against Boston, so they may not make it out of the first round. Still this season is a success, and the areas to focus on this summer to get back there or do even more are obvious (right side D and replacing the bottom 2 centres). Whatever positive learning experience they can carry into next year’s (hopefully) improved team is some form of success.

THAAAAA’S KAPPY’s answer below

1) as much as I’m ready to oust the Boston ghost, I want Tampa in round 1. Knocking off the early season’s stanley cup favorite before heading to Boston to exorcise those demons later in the playoffs is pretty much as sweet as it gets.
2) A successful playoffs, to me, is proving that the Leafs can dance with Boston and Tampa, and aren’t an afterthought. That means knocking at least one of them off. A first round exit just wouldn’t be enough this time around.

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