I can’t believe it either… I’m writing a hockey blog. However, since the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs in Game 7 (once again) I was curious how previous playoff series have fared between these two franchises. I’m also using this blog to serve as an educational piece for those who aren’t studied up on Bruins history.
I was confident in my Bruins because I remembered that the last two times these teams squared off, 2013 and just last year, it didn’t end well for the Leafs. In fact, 2013 was famous for Boston’s three goal comeback in the third period, and then Bergeron sending the B’s to round two with an overtime goal. What I didn’t know was before that series, how did the Bruins and Leafs square up? They are both of the Original Six, so I could only imagine that these two have had their fair share of playoff matchups, and I was more or less right. Heading back to 1933, these teams have seen each other in Lord Stanley’s playoffs 16 times. Here’s what I found:
That’s right, after last night the all time series is now tied at 8 apiece. Though if you only want to count when the NHL switched to 7 game series, that would 8-4 in the Bruins favor. Another noteworthy victory for the Bruins is their lone Stanley Cup matchup, since back then there were no conferences. However, what I was interested in most of all was who had the leg up in decisive games?
We all know in the 21st century, in their three first round matchups, the Bruins beat the Leafs all three times in Game 7 at the TD Garden. Prior to that, though, the other two Game 7s were also in the Boston Garden, with the Bruins and Leafs each winning one. If you also want to include their very first series that went to a decisive Game 5, the Leafs took that one at home. But even including that Game 5 and the Bruins are 4-2 over the Leafs in decisive games, which is a clutch stat to hold over another franchise. Once again the Leafs couldn’t handle the Garden and found themselves bounced after one round of playoff hockey.
Another thing: since the 1959 series it’s been all Bruins. Six straight playoff series victories, a couple of sweeps in there, and tack on back-to-back-to-back Game 7 victories to pour salt on the wounds of Maple Leaf fans. Now it’s onto the next round and the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston more or less took out the British Redcoats in 1776, so taking down the Columbus Blue Jackets is in our DNA. Go B’s.
P.S. Remember when Kelli said that whoever won Game 5 would win the series? Weird. Read up on your Bruins-Leafs history maybe.