So last week I went all in on the Leafs beating the Blue Jackets in their upcoming qualifying series. And I still am. While the Blue Jackets have the advantage defensively, I think a lot of that relies on an extremely effective system put in place by John Tortorella to make up for the losses of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, something that could take some time to get used to after nearly five months off.
And while the Leafs have a habit of not being able to perform in the playoffs, we haven’t seen how they’ll perform in a playoff situation under Sheldon Keefe, although they did have good performances against Florida and Tampa Bay right before the season was paused.
There are even some analytical models that have them as the heavy favourites in the series (although there are also plenty that have it as insanely close but the Leafs coming out on top):
2020 NHL qualifying round preview: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets
On paper this shouldn’t be close. But we saw what the Blue Jackets did last year and they pose a similar stylistic problem to a skilled Leafs team.https://t.co/ …
Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation