BOSTON (CBS) — Buckle up your seat belts, Boston sports fans, because it’s time for the best season of the year. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us.

And when this year’s postseason kicks off in Boston on Thursday night, it’ll be a familiar foe in town for the first-round series. The Toronto Maple Leafs will be in Boston, and after suffering a Game 7 ouster in last year’s playoffs, they’ll be looking for some sweet revenge.

The Bruins, of course, will be capable of providing resistance. And while nobody can quite know exactly what to expect from this series, here’s how the WBZ sports team sees things playing out between the Bruins and Maple Leafs.

Steve Burton, WBZ-TV

Is there anything better than an Original Six matchup in the playoffs? Yes, a seven-game series between two Original Six teams.

The Bruins and Leafs are heading for another seven-game clash. Boston has home ice, they’ve earned it and will use it to their advantage. But Toronto won’t lay down. They are extremely hungry after the Bruins sent them packing last year in the playoffs.

Bruins in 7

Dan Roche, WBZ-TV

I’m curious to see just how good this Bruins team will and can be in the postseason. They play great team defense and have good weapons in Pastrnak, Marchand, Bergeron and DeBrusk. The Leafs will be out for revenge and hope John Tavares can be a difference-maker this time around. But the Bruins are the much better two-way team, and should prevail.

Bruins in 6

Levan Reid, WBZ-TV

Toronto is finishing the season on a downward spiral and they are struggling defensively. Boston is rested, playing well and has multiple players and lines that can take advantage of the Leafs.

Bruins in 6

Scott Sullivan, WBZ-TV

Last year’s first round series was a classic between these two Original Six teams and it should be no different this time around. Both clubs look a lot like last year but the Leafs did add the dyanamic Jon Tavares in the offseason, plus rugged defenseman Jake Muzzin before the trade deadline. Regardless, the Leafs still lack that snarl and their forwards are soft. The Bruins defense is significantly better than the Leafs and Tuukka Rask gets the edge over Frederik Andersen in net.

New year, same result.

Bruins in 7

Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

The Bruins are probably better. They went 3-1 vs. Toronto this year. There’s plenty of reason to believe in them. But this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Weird things happen. And with the Bruins enjoying that miracle comeback in Game 7 in 2013 before emerging victorious in a wild Game 7 last year, maybe the Toronto franchise is just overdue to get that extra bounce or break that decides a playoff series.

Maple Leafs in 7

Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

These series have been a blast in years past, so let’s hope we’re treated to another seven-round bout. The Leafs are a dangerous offensive team, and they’ll likely have a few games where they turn Tuukka into Swiss cheese. But the Bruins’ defense will slow them down enough in Boston, and ultimately come out on top with another thrilling Game 7 victory inside TD Garden.

Is another Game 7 overtime winner from Bergeron too much to ask for?

Bruins in 7

Comments