Kent Tukeli |  Sat 14/04/2018 - 18:46 EDT

Bruins vs Maple Leafs: Kadri Suspension Looms Over Leafs

Bruins vs Maple Leafs: Kadri Suspension Looms Over Leafs
Disaster struck Toronto during their game one match against the Boston Bruins, routed 5-1 and losing Nazem Kadri for the next three games. The Maple Leafs started well, but Boston special teams broke the game wide open, frustrating Toronto's top skaters. Boston will enjoy a greater advantage over Toronto in game two because of Kadri's absence, but the Leafs will adjust and improve under coach Babcock's leadership.

Boston Vs Toronto – Game Two Betting Preview

My Team's Next MatchToronto Maple Leafs

NHL odds and lines courtesy of Sports Interaction

Moneyline: Toronto (+140) :: Boston (-165)

The game two moneyline didn’t shift much after the 5-1 Bruins beatdown of the Maple Leafs. Boston’s line shifted from -150 to -165, while Toronto’s numbers shifted from +130 to +140. Toronto had the opportunity to control the opener until the halfway point of the second period, before special teams shifted the momentum to Boston. 

The Leafs whiffed on a pair of power play opportunities in the second while the Bruins converted the go-ahead goal with the man advantage. Boston’s still the favorite, but the Leafs should provide more of a challenge.

Puckline: Toronto +1.5 (-175) :: Boston -1.5 (+150)

Considering the suspension to Nazem Kadri, the best betting value of this evening might be the Bruins puckline at +150. Before his ejection, Kadri was one of the more effective skaters on Thursday compared to other Toronto forwards with a 46.7 CF% at even strength, leading the team with five hits. At his best, Nazem’s an elite two-way pest, scoring 32 goals in two consecutive seasons. Without Kadri, Toronto must rely on someone else to shadow the Bergeron-Marchand-Pasternak line, raising the odds of a two-goal win for Boston.

Over/Under: Over 6.0 (+105) :: Under 6.0 (-125)

Toronto’s penalty kill was a mess in game one, allowing goals in three of five Boston advantages, resulting in nine different Bruins registering a power play point. Babcock will make adjustments to reduce the effectiveness of Boston’s power play, and the Leafs will likely put forth an improved effort on Saturday night – especially from Matthews and Nylander. Popular opinion reflects the belief that game two will feature less scoring, which pushes the line for under six goals to a relatively expensive -125.

Bruins vs Maple Leafs Betting Trends

The Toronto Maple Leafs debut in the 2018 NHL playoffs started promisingly, outplaying the Bruins during the first half of the match. Momentum broke when the Leafs couldn’t score on their power plays, which seemed to sharpen the Bruins teeth. Boston netted three tallies on the man advantage, finishing the second period with an even strength marker in the final minute, breaking the Leafs back. Toronto couldn’t muster the effort needed to earn a third period comeback.

  • Boston outshot Toronto 40-27 during game one.
  • Bruins power play continued roll with 3 PPG.
  • Toronto power play failed to score in three opportunities.
  • Nazem Kadri suspended for next three games.
  • Boston dominated even strength possession with 64.7 CF%.

Instead, disaster struck. Nazem Kadri lost his composure, running a defenseless Tommy Wingels into the boards, earning Nazem a five-minute major and a game misconduct. This extended shorthanded situation ensured that the Boston Bruins would coast through the rest of the night to clinch a 1-0 series lead. Even worse, the NHL discipline department threw the book at Kadri, suspending him three games for the hit. There’s a chance that Nazem’s played his last game in the 2018 post season.

Fortunately for the Leafs, scores don’t matter in the playoffs, only wins. Despite the 5-1 shellacking, a strong effort from Toronto would even the series at one game apiece, transferring home ice advantage to the Leafs in game three. Without Kadri in the lineup, the rest of the Maple Leafs forward group will need to step up, filling in for Nazem’s defense and scoring touch. Coach Babcock’s too experienced to allow his best players to falter again, which should improve the competitiveness of Saturday night’s runback.

Bruins vs Maple Leafs Game 2 Prediction

Toronto’s a top team in the eastern conference, with or without Kadri, but they can’t be the worst version of themselves again, or this series will be over quickly. Giving up 40 shots and three power play goals repeats the worst regular season tendencies. Even strength possession metrics must improve as well, because Toronto’s 35.3 CF% shows that Boston completely dominated in all situations. Matthews and Nylander have to lead the charge, but the bigger issue might be Plekanec and Rielly, who were thoroughly outclassed.

Regardless of the lineup and matchup alterations from coach Babcock, Toronto will have greater difficulty containing Boston’s top six without Nazem Kadri, increasing the edge the Bruins claim over the Leafs. Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak showed why they’re one of the most dangerous lines in the opener, while the Bruins depth quietly preventing the Leafs top stars from shining. Rielly and Hainsey struggled mightily in game one, while young Bruins defensemen Krug and McAvoy were solid.

Andersen, Matthews and Marner have the ability to steal a road win for the Leafs, but the odds appear stacked against Toronto. Boston survived a strong challenge in the first half of game one before brutally mauling the Leafs during the final 25 minutes. A -165 moneyline wager looks like a safe bet this evening considering Toronto’s disadvantage, while a +150 payout for a Bruins puckline win appears to offer the best value. A -125 line for under six goals is expensive, but the more likely totals result.

Boston Bruins Beat Puckline (-1.5, +150)

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