The time has finally come. The 82-game regular season has ended, and the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs are set to begin tonight. As we know, Toronto’s opponent in the first round is none other than last year’s opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’s not shocking at all that these two teams are matched up with each other again, to be honest. They were the first two teams to lock in their matchup and although it wasn’t confirmed months ago, we all kind of knew they were set to play each other around Christmas time.
However, despite these two teams being in the same division, knowing each other pretty well and just playing each other last playoffs, there’s always one or two key x-factors for a team come playoff time, and in this case, I have picked three x-factors for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they prepare to face the team that has gone to three straight finals.
1. Ryan O’Reilly
2022-23 stats: 53 GP – 16 G – 14 A – 30 PTS – 17:56 TOI
2022-23 stats with TOR: 13 GP – 4 G – 7 …
Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation