After a post-Global Series rest and an American Thanksgiving reprieve, the Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action! Now that they’re back on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, gone are the early weekday start times and in comes…. another early weekday start time. Great. On the plus side, we all get to start our weekends a little bit early, since the Leafs are up at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Who needs work anyway?
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Blackhawks
Toronto is the heavy favourite going into this one, sitting at -270, a number that’s only become shorter overnight.
Maple Leafs vs. Blackhawks odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds
|Blackhawks Moneyline Odds
|Puck Line odds
|Maple Leafs -1.5 (-110), Blackhawks +1.5 (-110)
|Total Goals line
|6.5 goals (over -120, under +100)
|Nov. 24, 2:00 p.m. ET
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
About the Maple Leafs (10-5-2 SU, 5-12 ATS, 8-8 o/u)
Toronto comes off of their second extended rest period in as many weeks, celebrating a pair of victories in Stockholm with another five days off. A third-period comeback against the Red Wings followed by an overtime victory against Minnesota was exactly what the doctor ordered for a team that needed to catch its groove, though there is still a wonder of whether squeaking every game through by a goal or two is something that can hold forever.
Nevertheless, the Leafs got to get some rest, have a global experience, grab four points, come home, and get some more rest. It was effectively a team bonding vacation in the early stages of the season – which is great because now the work really starts to ramp up.
About the Blackhawks (5-12 SU, 8-9 ATS, 7-10 o/u)
The Blackhawks have been more or less what Chicago was hoping they’d be this season – still not any good, still in a competitive spot for a high draft pick, but keeping games close enough to have fun. Their loss against Columbus on Wednesday was their first loss by more than two in over three weeks, meaning that even though they’d gone 2-6 in that span, there was always a game in reach.
Connor Bedard has lived up to the hype, putting up 10 goals in his first 17 games of his career and energizing crowds. Philipp Kurashev seems to be coming into his own, with the 24-year-old putting up 11 points in as many games. Seth Jones has shown stretches of still having some of his top-end days in the tank still, which is great news if they want to try to move him down the road.
As implied before, Chicago comes into this having lost five in a row, to Florida, Tampa, Nashville, Buffalo, and the Blue Jackets. Toronto was the source of their biggest win this year, and they hope to repeat that.
These two teams faced off just a month and change ago, early in both of their seasons. In the October 16 battle, Toronto was delivered their first defeat of the season, beginning with a Mackenzie Entwistle goal that was answered by John Tavares, but a Corey Perry tally put Chicago in the driver’s seat, later getting goals from Tyler Johnson and Taylor Raddish to seal the deal. This game was most remembered for a bit of a side story between Ryan Reaves and Corey Perry, who jawed at each other with the former getting the last laugh on the scoresheet. Currently, it looks like neither will play today.
|Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nicholas Robertson – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Bobby McMann
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano – Jake McCabe
William Lagesson – Conor Timmins
Starting In Goal
4-1-2, 0.878 SV%, 3.55 GAA
Lukas Reichel – Connor Bedard – Philipp Kurashev
Tyler Johnson – Cole Guttman – Taylor Raddysh
Nick Foligno – Jason Dickinson – Joey Anderson
Boris Katchouk – Ryan Donato – Reese Johnson
Alex Vlasic – Seth Jones
Kevin Korchinski – Connor Murphy
Wyatt Kaiser – Isaak Phillips
Starting In Goal
1-6-0, 0.879 SV%, 3.89 GAA
The Toronto lineup looks largely the same, with one change on the blue line (more on that in a bit!) and an expected repeat of the forward lines. I suppose we could see someone like Alex Steeves (just called up) or Ryan Reaves (sitting around) draw in, but with the success of the “2.0” fourth line thus far, I doubt they make a move just yet.
On Chicago’s end, oh look, it’s Joey Anderson, playing his first game of the season against the team that traded him! Don’t worry, I already checked for you – the revenge goal is +450.
William Nylander to score a goal
John Klingberg is officially on Long Term Injured Reserve as of today, with the focus being on his nagging hip issues that we’ve since found out to be of concern coming into the season, leading to more questions than answers, frankly. On the plus side, Conor Timmins is back to save the day! He’s expected to make his season debut.
On Chicago’s end, Jarred Tinordi is out with an oblique injury, Andreas Athanasiou has been placed on IR with a lower-body injury, Taylor Hall has seen his season officially end so he can undergo knee surgery, and Corey Perry, uh, we don’t really know right now. We know the Hawks are the ones who have removed him from the group, that he was scratched against Columbus earlier this week, and that players are talking about him like he’s gone forever. It could be a trade, discipline, a personal matter, or him joining Ozzie Smith in the mystery spot. We likely won’t know ahead of game time – I just hope it’s nothing bad.
- The Blackhawks have crushed the puck line against the Leafs in recent years, proving to be a trap game win or lose. While Toronto has won 4 of the last 5 games, Chicago has come ahead on the puck line in 9 of 10 – making equal bets on them worth approximately 7.18 units.
- The total goals over has been both teams’ friend of late. Toronto has hit it in 4 of their last 5 games, Chicago in 6 of their last 10, and in games with each other, it’s been hit in 7 of their last 10.
- Not only has the puck line been great for the Hawks against the Leafs, but it’s also been great for anyone facing them lately – Toronto has cleared it just once in their last ten. It’s been a lot of squeaking wins over the past few weeks.
Player prop trends
- Connor Bedard is really starting to figure things out. In his last ten games, he’s taken 26 shots, scored on eight of them, and assisted four more for twelve points. He’s only going to get better with time, so let’s enjoy the “just very good” phase while it lasts…
- If you want shots on goal from the point, Seth Jones has you covered with 24 in his last 10. If you’re one to look for block props as well (a risky but occasionally fruitful endeavour), he has 21 in that stretch. The real guy to go to for blocks, though, is Connor Murphy with 28 in his last 10.
- You don’t need a full note from me on William Nylander’s run. What you need is a full article from me on William Nylander’s run! We’ll see if it continues tonight.
Wagers to consider
- With Hall and presumably Perry now out of the mix, this is truly the moment where this becomes Bedard’s team, maybe a little faster than the Hawks hoped. He’s got the fortitude for the challenge, though, and I expect him to come out flying today. 2.5 shots on goal should be easy to clear (-150), and one of those being a goal (+170) wouldn’t be a huge shock.
- Nylander props are going to be all the rage today. He’s +140 for a goal, +110 to clear 5 shots on goal, +100 for a multi-point game, -160 for an assist, and +125 for a powerplay point. I’m actually not sure that there’s a ton of value here, with all the interest in the streak, but they’re worth mentioning. The powerplay point would probably be the most enticing to me.
- The puck line being a pick ’em feels kind of crazy knowing the history between these two teams, Toronto’s recent run of form, and the amount of gap time they’ve had. I’d have a good long look at the Hawks here. On paper, this could absolutely be a Toronto blowout, but we know paper means nothing for this group when it comes to Trap Games.
- Again: Joey Anderson revenge goal, +450, you and I both know this won’t be shocking if it happens.