(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne)

By: Steve McClure | Follow me on Twitter / X at stmcclure1993

It’s officially springtime! The Boston Bruins’ 2023-24 regular season has come to a close, and with their second-place Atlantic division finish, Boston will be matched with the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. So, with the NHL postseason ready to consume our attention, let’s take a look at the playoff history between the Bruins and the Maple Leafs. 

Since 1933, the Bruins and the Maple Leafs have each won eight series against one another. Only one of those series was a Stanley Cup finals clash—with the Bruins winning the title in five games in 1939. 

One historical note was the initial 1933 playoff contest between the two teams, which resulted in four overtime games. The fourth overtime game occurred in Game Five and still stands as the second-longest NHL game on record. When forward Ken Doraty scored the game’s only goal in the fourth OT period—after 104:46 of extra time—Toronto had eliminated Boston in five games.

(Photo Credit: hhof.com)

From 1948 to 1959, the Maple Leafs enjoyed four straight series wins—a dominating 16-6-1 string of games. The ‘original six’ franchise enjoyed three Cup titles (1948, 1949, and 1951) over the course of that stretch, while Boston struggled to be anything more than a fourth-place finisher. 

Since the 1959 semifinal series loss, Boston has reeled off six straight series victories—three during Orr’s reign (1969, 1972, 1974) and three during Zdeno Chara’s reign (2013, 2018, 2019). The Orr years offered Toronto no hope, as Boston won twelve of thirteen total games. The Chara years offered misery for Toronto, as the Leafs lost all three series in seventh games—certainly none worse than the 2013 conference quarterfinals collapse in which Toronto blew a 4-1 third-period lead and lost 5-4 on a Patrice Bergeron game-winner in overtime.

The Bruins have eked out a 42-40-1 all-time record versus the Leafs in playoff competition. For those that believe in fate, of the eight years the Bruins have eliminated the Leafs from the playoffs, six times the result has ended in a Stanley Cup championship for Boston. 

All-time playoff stats for the Bruins vs. the Maple Leafs:

Most points vs. the Maple Leafs: David Krejci with 26.

Most goals vs. the Maple Leafs: Phil Esposito with 11.

The most game-winning goals vs. the Maple Leafs are Roy Conacher and Ken Hodge, with three each.

Lowest goals-against-average vs. the Maple Leafs (playing more than one game): Gerry Cheevers’ 1.56 GAA.

Most shutouts vs. the Maple Leafs: Gerry Cheevers with 3.

All-time playoff stats for the Maple Leafs vs. the Bruins:

Most points vs. the Bruins: Ted ‘Teeder’ Kennedy with 9.

Most points vs. the Bruins:  Ted ‘Teeder’ Kennedy with 18.

Most game-winning goals vs. the Bruins:  Ted ‘Teeder’ Kennedy with 3.

Lowest goals-against-average vs. the Bruins:  Lorne Chabot’s 0.96 GAA.

Most shutouts vs. the Bruins: Turk Broda with 4.