Bruins vs Leafs Playoff History
(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are two of the NHL’s Original Six teams, and their playoff history is filled with memorable moments, fierce battles, and incredible performances.

However, in recent years, the Leafs have struggled mightily against their rivals. Let’s take a closer look at the Bruins vs Leafs playoff rivalry and the Leafs’ playoff woes against Boston.

Bruins vs Leafs Playoff Results

The Bruins and Leafs have met 16 times in the playoffs, with each team winning eight series. However, the Leafs have lost their last six playoff series against the Bruins:

  • 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Bruins won 4-3
  • 2018 Eastern Conference First Round: Bruins won 4-3
  • 2019 Eastern Conference First Round: Bruins won 4-3

The Leafs have now lost eight consecutive series-clinching games and haven’t won a playoff series against the Bruins in 60 years.

Memorable Bruins vs Leafs Playoff Games and Leafs’ Collapses

  1. 1959 Stanley Cup Semifinals, Game 7: The Leafs won 3-2, kicking off a sad period for the Bruins who would miss the playoffs for the next eight seasons.
  2. 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 7: The Leafs blew a 4-1 third-period lead, allowing the Bruins to tie it late and win 5-4 in OT. “It was 4-1” became a rallying cry for Bruins fans.
  3. 2018 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 7: Up 4-3 going into the third, the Leafs allowed four unanswered goals to lose 7-4. Auston Matthews called the defeat “frustrating” and “disappointing”.

Top Individual Performances in Bruins vs Leafs Playoff History

  1. Phil Esposito, 1969 Quarterfinals: Esposito set a record with 6 points (two goals, four assists) in the Bruins’ 10-0 win over the Leafs in Game 1. He finished the series with 12 points in four games.
  2. Cam Neely, 1991 Conference Finals: Neely scored nine goals in seven games, including a hat trick in Game 3, as the Bruins defeated the Leafs en route to the Stanley Cup Final.
  3. Auston Matthews, 2018 First Round: Despite the Leafs’ loss, Matthews had a breakout series with five goals and six points in seven games, including the game-winner in Game 3.
  4. David Pastrnak, 2019 First Round: Pastrnak led the Bruins with six goals and nine points in the seven-game series, including a hat trick in Boston’s 7-3 win in Game 2.

The Leafs’ Playoff Struggles Against Boston

Despite icing talented teams in recent years, the Leafs have been unable to get past the Bruins in the postseason. Toronto has lost its last six playoff series against Boston dating back to 1969. Some factors in the Leafs’ struggles include:

  • The Bruins’ top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak has consistently outplayed Toronto’s stars like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
  • Boston’s physical, heavy style of play seems to wear down the Leafs over the course of a long series.
  • Questionable officiating has also plagued the Leafs in key moments against the Bruins.

Despite often icing talented teams, the Leafs just can’t seem to solve the Bruins come playoff time. The ghosts of past collapses haunt the team and its fanbase.

Until the Leafs can finally slay their Boston demons, the playoff heartbreaks will continue to pile up for the long-suffering Toronto faithful.

The Bruins vs Leafs playoff history remains a fierce and storied rivalry, but one that has been decidedly one-sided in recent years.