NHL Insider Suggests Option For Maple Leafs To Defeat Bruins In Playoffs

The first round is almost already set in the Atlantic division as the Boston Bruins have a sizeable lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning while each of them lead the Buffalo Sabres by a good amount of points. Nick Kypreos suggests a skilled prospect would have to be moved out if the Maple Leafs want to defeat the Bruins in the playoffs, but we all know Toronto has to make it out of the first round before that.

Kypreos said that if you're trying to knock off the Bruins this year, you may have to throw Matthew Knies in a trade. The only way Knies would be involved in a trade is if it were for a very impactful player, someone like Timo Meier, Jakob Chychrun, or Bo Horvat. The Maple Leafs need to win now while the big-four are under contract. This remains a very tough task as the top of their division is always filled with some of the best teams in the league that they have to get through early in the playoffs.

The Maple Leafs have lost in the series-deciding game in five consecutive seasons and lost in the first round in six straight. They won't be playing the Bruins in the first round, but will need something a little more to defeat the Lightning this season. Dealing their future in Knies for a player that can put them over the top right now is almost a must. If they can avoid trading Knies and still acquire an impactful player, they would of course do it. But teams trading top talent will be looking at the top prospect first.

If the Maple Leafs are able to get past the first round, there is a high percentage chance that they will then have to play the Bruins in the second round. The goal for the Maple Leafs isn't just to make it out of the first round. With the elite team they have, the goal is once again to win a Stanley Cup. If they can get over the hump of the first round, it is possible. But the Bruins have their number in the playoffs and appear to be in one of their last years of really competing. The Maple Leafs won't have home ice advantage which will make the task even tougher to knock off the likely Presidents' Trophy winners. Toronto has cap space and can't hold back.

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