After a quick reprieve on Monday, the sky is once again on fire in Toronto. The Maple Leafs have lost five of their last six games, and through 13 contests and a little less than a month, have won in regulation just three (!!) times. Things aren’t going super swimmingly in the Centre of the Universe right now, but on the other side, they meet another slumping team in the Calgary Flames, who hoped to bounce back from a down year but have taken a step further back out of the gate.
Bet on Flames vs. Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs are home favourites and currently sit at -150, though the market has moved on them over the past several hours.
Flames vs. Maple Leafs odds
|Flames Moneyline Odds||+130|
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds||-150|
|Puckline odds||Maple Leafs -1.5 (+160), Flames +1.5 (-180)|
|Total||6.5 goals (over -140, under +120)|
|Time/Date||Nov. 10, 7:00 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: TSN 4 (Toronto), TVA Sports (French)|
Sportsnet West (Calgary)
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
About the Maple Leafs (6-5-2 SU, 4-9 ATS, 5-7 o/u)
Things didn’t go great for the Leafs against Ottawa on Wednesday, to say the least. The team did strike first, three seconds into a power play following a Travis Hamonic penalty in the opening frame, and life was good for a brief moment. The lead only lasted a little under a minute and a half, however, and was the only one they’d hold for the rest of the game. Dominik Kubalik’s third goal of the year was the Senators’ only response in the first, but Claude Giroux quickly added a second about a minute into the second period. Tyler Bertuzzi responded with his third of the season and his first goal at even strength for the Leafs, but was one-upped by Jakob Chychrun following a defensive-zone miscommunication.
Nick Robertson tied the game for Toronto in the third period, scoring his first of the season, but Ottawa quickly pulled out the knockout blow with three goals in three minutes, including another from Kubalik, a Tim Stutzle special, and a last bit of insurance by Giroux.
A lot went wrong for Toronto in its own end in this game. It was a rough showing for Joseph Woll, but a lot of missed assignments, poor communication, and general puck-chasing came back to haunt the team. Some of this is circumstantial – the Leafs are very injured on the blue line, and in the case of Woll finally having a bad night, I can’t help but think increased workload might be catching up to him – but it’s not good nonetheless, particularly when the worst offenders have been the offseason acquisitions and retentions.
About the Flames (4-7-1 SU, 4-8 ATS, 7-4 o/u)
Well, this wasn’t the regression we expected. After a year of one-goal losses, overtime defeats, games with lopsided shot counts going the other way, and good players having big production drop-offs, many thought this was a year where the Flames could easily regain some ground and get back on track.
The result, somehow, has been worse. The Flames come into this game with the third-worst record in the league, ahead of only the somehow worse Edmonton Oilers and the San Jose Sharks. They’re losing more of their games by two or three or four goals, rather than one. Their shot attempt share this year is still good, but it is a few percentage points down. Players like Elias Lindholm and Jonathan Huberdeau are seeing their down years feel like glory years, with even less production to start this season.
It’s not been all bad, though. Jacob Markstrom is… slightly better than he was last year? Though he still hasn’t returned to his once-elite form. The team itself has won back-to-back games, to double its win count following a six-game losing streak. Mikael Backlund led the way against the Kraken on Saturday, and the team conceded just 18 shots against the Predators on Tuesday, rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to win 4-2. So they come in with a little bit of momentum and get to face their former bosses’ new team. If nothing else, it sets up for a fun narrative arc.
The last game between these two teams was a pretty low-scoring affair, one of Calgary’s many one-goal defeats last year. Blake Coleman opened up the scoring early with a shorthanded goal following a too many men bench minor, but that as the only one of 26 shots that Woll would let in. From there, Mitch Marner tied the game up for the Leafs midway through the second period, and Calle Jarnrkok put them ahead a little over two minutes into the third. A pretty dull affair overall, so let’s hope that tonight provides a bit more excitement.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||OPPONENT TEAM|
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nick Robertson – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano – Jake McCabe
Simon Benoit – William Lagesson
Starting In Goal
4-4-0, 2.79 GAA, 0.913 SV%
Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm – Andrew Mangiapane
Connor Zary – Nazem Kadri – Yegor Sharangovich
Martin Pospisil – Mikael Backlund – Blake Coleman
A.J. Greer – Dillon Dube – Walker Duehr
MacKenzie Weegar – Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin – Chris Tanev
Nikita Zadorov – Nick DeSimone
Starting In Goal
2-1-0, 4.00 GAA, 0.844 SV%
The Maple Leafs are projecting to make the fanbase at least partway happy tonight, with Pontus Holmberg called up and Jake McCabe playing on pair two. It looks like there are pathways to one, or maybe even both of Ryan Reaves and John Klingberg watching this game from the press box, with the most likely one currently sounding like an 11-7 layout that benches Reaves but keeps Klingberg in the mix.
On Calgary’s end, it’s still hard to believe that this group is in the mess it’s currently in. The Flames’ blue line remains deep, and there are several players in that forward group that you still associate with quality. That it’s not working for them is one of the great head-scratchers.
Nazem Kadri (CGY) to take over 3.5 shots on goal
McCabe projects to return from injury for the Maple Leafs, following a groin injury that took him out of the lineup in late October. On Calgary’s end, Jakob Pelletier is out long-term following shoulder surgery, Kevin Rooney is in an identical boat, and Oliver Kylington is out on extended leave for personal reasons.
- The last 10 games between these two teams have generally gone in Toronto’s favour, with the Leafs going 7-3. If you bet equal money on the Leafs in all 10 games, you’d be up 4.27 units. On the puckline, the Flames would be the better play, going 6-4 to the tune of 1.45 units gained. The over has only hit four times in that stretch.
- Toronto is just awful on the puckline right now, going 2-8 in its last 10 and 1-9 in its last 10 at home. In the case of the latter, 10 equal bets would have you out a whopping 8.09 units at the average market rate.
- Calgary has hit the over in its last three games, and last three road games. The Flames have also won on the puckline in each of their last three games.
Player prop trends
- Nazem Kadri is starting to get himself together in Calgary after a tough start. Prior to the Heritage Classic, he’d picked up just one assist and no goals in eight games. Since then, he’s got two tallies and four helpers in four games, and taken 18 shots in that stretch.
- On the other side of the coin, Huberdeau looks lost right now, picking up no goals, two assists, and just seven shots on goal in his last eight games, with a -12 rating attached to that stretch. He’s been attached to the bench for a few stretches. Probably not what you want to see from a player in year one of an eight-year deal paying him among the league’s most expensive forwards.
- Always great to see a Swedish winger in Blue and White put together an inspiring point streak. Of course, I’m talking about Jarnrkok, who’s hopped on the scoreboard in four consecutive games, picking up two goals and three assists. It might not be Nylander’s 13-game run, but it’s depth support!
Wagers to consider
- It feels right for Kadri to keep the previously-mentioned streak going and give it to his former team while they’re down tonight. His shot line sits at 3.5 (+120), he sits at +200 for an anytime goal, and -125 for a point.
- After a hot couple games, the Toronto first line wasn’t overly dynamic against Ottawa. If you feel that can change tonight, one of bet365’s boosted Same Game Parlays has both Matthews and Marner putting together multi-point games, sitting at +450 rather than the standard +400.
- bet365 is also offering a boosted SGP for an exact score of 3-2 Leafs, at +1200. I think you’re always taking a risk when betting on an exact score, so I’d be cautious there, but the general idea of it being an under kind of night wouldn’t shock me. You can get under 6.5 goals at +120.