Reasons why the Montreal Canadiens are a better opponent for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Jake Allen #34 of the Montreal Canadiens.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Jake Allen #34 of the Montreal Canadiens.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens will meet in the postseason for the first time in 42 years.

Although the North Division is still finishing out its regular season slate due to the COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined the Vancouver Canucks for a considerable amount of time, the four postseason teams have been decided and the Toronto Maple Leafs will now take on the Montreal Canadiens in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Reasons why playing the Montreal Canadiens is a more suitable matchup for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews (34)
Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Regular season sample size

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ best records this season have been against the Edmonton Oilers and the Canadiens. In 10 games against the Habs, they are 7-3 and average 3.4 goals a game. Even with the Canadiens fully healthy, the Maple Leafs still possess far more depth and have players that have the ability to take over a game.

Montreal has plenty of promising young stars but, at the moment, they’re just not there yet. Jesperi Kotkaniemi has been struggling all season long and Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield are just getting started. Montreal has struggled to find scoring all season long and against a team like the Leafs who seem to be able to score at will, this is going to be a very tough fight for the Canadiens.

Jack Campbell (36)
Goaltender Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Favourable goaltending matchup

Goalies have the ability to completely take over a game and the Toronto Maple Leafs will have a better time facing off against Jake Allen and co. as opposed to someone in the ilk of Connor Hellebuyck.

Both Toronto and Montreal have similar goalie situations this year. Their starters have both gone down with long-term injuries and it has been up to the backups to step up. Jack Campbell has had a better time and has outplayed Allen all season long. Against Montreal, Campbell has a 4-1-1 record with a .918 Save Percentage. Allen is 2-3 with a .907 Save Percentage.

Even with Carey Price and Frederik Andersen returning, it’s hard to imagine the kind of impact they’re going to have on the ice. Price has not looked strong this season and Andersen was having the worst season of his career. This series looks like it’s going to be Allen vs. Campbell and that is a matchup that the Leafs will be very comfortable with.

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This Playoff series is going to be very fun to watch as we haven’t seen these historic teams meet in the playoffs since 1979. Even if it’s an uphill climb for the Montreal Canadiens, this team is full of character and they’re going to bring the fight to the Toronto Maple Leafs.