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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Brad Marchand vs Leo Komarov

Everybody expects Marchand to be his normal aggravating self in this series, and that can have an impact on how this series shakes out.

Not only can he get under the skin of the opposition, he has become a prolific scorer for the Bruins. He will likely see most of his time against Kadri’s line or Matthews’ line, but the Toronto Maple Leafs know they also have a player on their team who can have a similar impact.

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Nobody expects Komarov to produce offensively like Marchand, but he is certainly capable of being an annoying presence on the ice. That is why Babcock is planning to play him over rookie Andreas Johnsson, who Leafs fans would rather see in the lineup.

However, this is where Komarov has been able to show his value with his defence and physical play. At the same time, there is pressure on him to have an impact, because there are players knocking on the door and ready to step in if he doesn’t.

Komarov will also need to limit the effectiveness of the Bruins’ powerplay which is a top-five unit in the league, with Marchand third on the team with eight. If Komarov can give the Leafs an edge in that department, then they have a chance to be the favourites in the series.

Next: Andersen's strong play should provide optimism

Which matchup are you looking forward to in the first round? Who needs to step up the most for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Bruins? Let us know in the comments below.