NHL Betting Preview (April 22): Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t get off to the hot start to the playoffs that they wanted on Saturday, dropping Game 1 to the Boston Bruins. On one hand, conventional wisdom is that you’re never really in trouble in the playoffs until you lose at home, but on the other, much of the concerns surrounding the team were exposed in a rather one-sided loss. Nevertheless, they have an opportunity now to shake off the result and potentially tie the series up.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Bruins GM2

TOR +120
BOS -140

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The Maple Leafs are road underdogs, coming in between +111 and +123 on the moneyline.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Best Odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds+123 @ Pinnacle
Bruins Moneyline Odds-135 @ Betway
Puckline oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-208) @ Pinnacle
Bruins -1.5 (+188) @ FanDuel
Total Over 5.5 goals (-118) @ Pinnacle
Under 5.5 goals (+110) @ Proline+
Time/DateApril 22, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last Matchup

If you’re the Bruins, Game 1 could not have possibly gone much better, and if you’re a Maple Leafs fan, well, you’re probably panicking a little. The Bruins cruised to a 5-1 victory, taking the lead just two and a half minutes into the game, following a moment of over-exuberance from Toronto.

Boston expanded the lead with three goals in 12 minutes in the second period, including two power play goals in two and a half minutes by Jake DeBrusk. David Kampf gave Toronto a little bit of life to start the third, but a Trent Frederic empty-netter iced the game.

Betting Toronto Maple Leafs (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 o/u)

Many of Toronto’s weaknesses and concerns came to fruition in this one, and leave you wondering if a change of strategy comes Monday. For one, several of Toronto’s players, particularly the first-year, tried to lean into the new “snotty” identity the team is pushing for, and it burned them right off the bat when Ryan Reaves jumped out of position to make a hit for the sake of a hit, directly leading to the Jonathan Beecher 1-0 goal. Performative physicality and pesting were at play several times during the game, and not only did it seem to take Toronto out of trying to score, but it also didn’t seem to shake up Boston at all.

One example, Max Domi’s slash on Brad Marchand led to Toronto giving up a power play goal in short order. Not all of Toronto’s five penalty kills were the result of these “temperature up” kind of plays, but most of them were pretty sloppy, including a rare Auston Matthews high-sticking penalty just before Domi’s. That’s another thing that will have to be cleaned up ahead of Monday, especially if it’s going to lead to their opponents getting several extra power plays.

Lastly, the team continues to struggle with breaking out and counter-attacking, with Boston more than happy to send the puck over to the defender with the weakest puck skills and retrieve it either directly off the forecheck or handily breaking up early attempts at escaping. Ilya Lyubushkin was a particular sore spot for Toronto in this regard, and I’m curious if the Leafs will make any changes in personnel or plan Monday in response.

Betting Boston Bruins (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 o/u)

Boston is no doubt happy with how the last game shook out. There are some sore spots – Brad Marchand’s wrist after the Domi penalty notwithstanding, the fact that he and David Pastrnak had relatively quiet nights is less than optimal, but the fact that the rest of the lineup managed to keep the goals flowing is a net positive.

Speaking of net positives, Jeremy Swayman was fantastic for the Bruins, stopping 35 of 36 shots. Toronto’s shot lead is a bit exaggerated by the 57 minutes of trailing and a handful of quick flurries, but when they asked questions, Swayman had answers, making the necessary saves and not needing to swim around to get there, often being set and in position.

Jake DeBrusk was the clear first star for the Bruins in this one – his pair of power play goals were the insurance the team needed to pull away, and he had the primary assist on Brandon Carlo’s 2-1 goal as well. It’s a big impact for the 27-year-old winger, who has stood out in previous Toronto/Boston series as well.

Projected Bruins and Leafs Lines

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Boston Bruins Lines
Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – Max Domi
Matthew Knies – John Tavares – Mitch Marner
Nick Robertson – Pontus Holmberg – Calle Jarnkrok
Connor Dewar – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

Morgan Rielly – Ilya Lyubushkin
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Joel Edmundson – Timothy Liljegren

Starting In Goal
Ilya Samsonov
23-7-8, 3.13 GAA, 0.890 SV%
Danton Heinen – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Jake Debrusk
Jakub Lauko – Morgan Geekie – Trent Frederic
John Beecher – Jesper Boqvist – Pat Maroon

Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Kevin Shattenkirk – Andrew Peeke

Starting In Goal
Jeremy Swayman
25-10-8, 2.53 GAA, 0.916 SV%

It doesn’t appear that the Bruins will be making any changes to their lineup Monday, which makes sense. All eyes are on Toronto’s adjustments, and so far, the team is tight-lipped.

William Nylander, in particular, remains out of this lineup but it would not be a shock to find out that he’ll be back in,having skated with the team yesterday.

Auston Matthews to score a goal


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Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Injury Concerns

The Maple Leafs gained Calle Jarnkrok and lost William Nylander going into the last game. Once again, there’s hope that Nylander will join them Monday, but it remains up in the air whether that comes to fruition. Bobby McMann is still day-to-day.

The Bruins have no updates on the injury front.

  • The Bruins have now won eight in a row in this head-to-head matchup, and have an 8-2 record over their last 10 against Toronto. Boston has a 6-4 edge on the puckline, and the total goals line has been split 5-5.
  • The Leafs are 4-6 in their last 10 games, 3-7 against the puckline, and have cleared the total goals line seven times. It gets worse when you zoom into the last five, where they’re 0-5 both straight-up and against the puckline.
  • The Bruins are 6-4 in their last 10 games, with a 4-6 record against the puckline. Clearing the over on total goals on Saturday gave them just their second over in those 10 games.
  • Auston Matthews remains the Leafs’ top performer over their last 10 games, scoring a team-leading nine goals, 12 points, and 53 shots on goal. Mitch Marner leads the team in assists in that stretch, with nine.
  • A result that may surprise you, even with his goal on Saturday: David Kampf has five points in Toronto’s last 10 games, representing a quarter of his production this year.
  • Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak share Boston’s points lead over their last 10, with 10 apiece. Zacha has a team co-leading three goals in that stretch, while Pastrnak leads in assists (eight) and shots on goal (38).

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

  • I have to think that Auston Matthews’ hit post on a mostly open net still stings. He had five other shots on goal on Saturday and is now on a three-game goalless drought after his thermonuclear run to close out the year. Several books have him at -115 to score a goal Monday, like Sports Interaction, BetMGM, and Betano.
  • The Leafs could send a great message with an improved defensive night. Pinnacle had a Boston goals line available right now, set at 3.5. I’d consider the under at -154.
  • Brad Marchand enjoyed being a point of distraction on Saturday, but still quietly put up two points. If you like him to keep that rolling, his best value on a goal is at Pinnacle (+241), his best value on an assist is at Betano (+130), and his best value on a point is at Betano (-139).

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