Toronto Maple Leafs: 4 Key Matchups to watch vs. Boston Bruins

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 15: Auston Matthews
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 15: Auston Matthews /
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Auston Matthews vs Zdeno Chara/Patrice Bergeron

There is no doubt the main focus for the Bruins will be to limit the impact of Matthews. The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have much of a choice on who the 20-year-old matches up against when they start the series on the road.

Expect that job to be given to Bergeron and Chara, who are the Bruins’ most trustworthy shutdown players. While it will likely be a good test for Matthews against two players with a lot of playoff experience under their belt, both will make things tough for him.

This season, Matthews played 12:19 against Chara with a CF% of 34.78 and in 9:04 against Bergeron he had a CF% of 23.08. according to Natural Stat Trick. Granted that was only one game against Boston and it was not a great game by the Leafs.

Last season was a different story as Matthews played more against David Krejci (24:12) than Bergeron (8:24) and in that limited time, had a CF% of 55.56 opposed to a CF% of 39.22 against Krejci.

Chara was able to limit the chances Matthews had on net last season, but the Leafs’ star still scored three goals and was only on the ice for one goal against. He might not be able to get as many shots on target with the towering defenceman on the ice, so he will have to make the most of any chances he gets.

Given how Matthews played in the final two months of the season scoring 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in nine games, there is no doubt he will be the focus of the Bruins’ gameplan to shut down the Leafs’ offence.