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Matthew Knies predicted a Leafs/Bruins meeting over a month ago


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Mike Armenti
April 17, 2024  (10:31)
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Matthew Knies prepping for a big game
Photo credit: NICK TURCHIARO-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Toronto Maple Leafs were on the receiving end of a shocker last night, as they had been preparing for weeks to meet the Florida Panthers in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, only to end up locked into a series with the Boston Bruins instead.

The Leafs and Bruins have an extensive history in the playoffs, but the rivalry really kicked up a notch back in 2013 when the Bruins erased a 4-1 deficit in the 3rd period of Game 7 to force overtime before Patrice Bergeron beat then netminder James Reimer to eliminate the Leafs in one of the most profound collapses in Stanley Cup Playoffs history.
Following the epic collapse, the Leafs and Bruins would not meet in the postseason for 5 more years, next facing off in 2018. The series would go the distance, but in Game 7, with the Leafs up 4-3 after two, they surrendered 4 third period goals to drop a 7-4 decision to Boston. Nazem Kadri was suspended for 3 games in the series. Had he played, who knows what could have been?
Just one season later in 2019, the Bruins and Leafs met again, with that series also going the full 7 games, and once again, Nazem Kadri was the target of a lengthy suspension - this time with no real number attached to the suspension. Rather than 3 games, Kadri was suspended for "the remainder of the series" and the Leafs would go on to lose 5-1 in Game 7.
Now, after another 5 years, the Leafs and Bruins will once again meet in the first round, minus Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara but with the stakes as high as ever, and one Leaf actually predicted the series to occur back on March 9th.
The Leafs and Bruins had faced off on March 7th in a game that may have looked lopsided on the scoresheet, with the Bruins skating away with a 4-1 victory, but the Leafs were the aggressors all night and, for once, were not pushed around by the big, bad Bruins. This time, they did the pushing. A couple of short days later, when asked about the game and the loss, Leafs rookie Matthew Knies may have shown some foresight in discussing who the Leafs' Round 1 opponent would be.
"I'm hoping we get another crack at those guys, and I think it's gonna make for a good series."

Obviously, Knies does not have a crystal ball. There's no way he could have known that the Leafs would meet the Bruins in Round 1, especially since for several weeks, the Leafs' Round 1 opponent was nearly set in stone as the Florida Panthers.
The Leafs and Bruins are not who they were 5 years ago. The Leafs have consistently been trending up since 2019, while the Bruins were expectedly solid all the way through, before losing Bergeron and Krejci to retirement last summer. Now, if the Bruins want to take down the Leafs in a 7-game series, they'll have to find another Leaf-killer to hitch their wagon to. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are still in the fold, but a new-look Leafs team that looks much more playoff-ready than the iterations of the past. The additions of Ryan Reaves, Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and Joel Edmundson will make for no easy nights for the Bruins.
While Knies may have projected a 1st round meeting with Boston more than a month ago, maybe it's just nothing more than fate in action. Maybe it was written in the stars that the Leafs would need to go through the Bruins this year to set them up for success well beyond Round 1. It's time to exorcise some demons.
POLL
APRIL 17   |   342 ANSWERS
Matthew Knies predicted a Leafs/Bruins meeting over a month ago

Who is the Leafs' biggest X-factor coming into their Round 1 series against the Boston Bruins?

Matthew Knies3811.1 %
Tyler Bertuzzi13740.1 %
Ilya Samsonov13639.8 %
Other319.1 %
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