Apr 8, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
The bright side for the Toronto Maple Leafs is they’re on the verge of making their first playoff appearance since 2004.
The potential dark side is there’s a good chance they’ll be facing a team that’s absolutely dominated them in the past couple of regular seasons.
According to Sports Club Stats, the Leafs and Bruins are the most likely first-round playoff match-up. Toronto has a 63 percent shot of finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, while Boston is at 60 percent to finish fourth.
Granted, when you combine the two probabilities, there’s a better chance (62%) that the two teams don’t meet. But wouldn’t it be something if it happened?
The optimistic Leafs fan (if that’s something that still exists after all these years of playoff misses) will point out that Toronto finally beat Boston a couple of weeks ago, ending an eight-game losing streak against the 2011 Stanley Cup champs.
As for other potential first-round matchups, a Penguins-Islanders series is at around 20 percent while, in the West, there’s a decent chance (35%) the Blackhawks and Red Wings renew their historic rivalry.
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 86
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 96
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 7
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty 180
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (97)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (92)
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (89)
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand (89)