Well, well, well. If it isn’t Glasses-Jacket-Shirt man? The narrative arc for tonight’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins focuses not on the players on the ice, but the folks in the press boxes, as the Blue and White face former general manager Kyle Dubas and his new team for the first time since a rapid and shocking divorce sent them their separate ways earlier this spring. Both teams have big ambitions but have found rocky pathways to getting there, and hope that a clash against each other will be what they need to get rolling.
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Penguins
Toronto enterest tonight as slight road favourites at -120, with the line shifting in their favour over night.
Maple Leafs vs. Penguins odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds
|Penguins Moneyline Odds
|Puck Line odds
|Maple Leafs -1.5 (+210), Penguins +1.5 (-250)
|Total Goals line
|6.5 goals (over -115, under -105)
|November 25, 7:00 p.m. ET
|Broadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports (French)
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
About the Maple Leafs (10-5-3 SU, 5-13 ATS, 11-8 o/u)
As I warned yesterday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks were always going to be a trap game. Sure, Joey Anderson didn’t score, but instead we saw Jason Dickinson score a hat trick in what was his first multi-goal game in over five years. There were some fun moments – the third line was effective, and Ryan Reaves drew in (…) and scored (!!!).
Someone who didn’t score was William Nylander, ending his start-of-season point streak at 17 games. It seemed for a moment that he would extend it in overtime, but he was denied by, we kid you not, all three posts on one shot. From that point, it was only a matter of time until the hockey gods sealed the deal, and a crazy bounce gave Kevin Korchinski the opportunity to do just that not long after, ending the game. So Toronto will be coming into this one feeling a little demoralized, but also hopefully feeling hungry.
About the Penguins (9-10 SU, 10-9 ATS, 6-11 o/u)
While the GM Warz (TM) will be the biggest storyline in this game, the team itself is still trying to figure itself out. Pittsburgh lost three of it’s first nine, then won five in a row, and have now once again lost four of five. For a team that wants to make a Last Dance or two, the inconsistency isn’t great – especially since they haven’t nested into a comfortable division spot yet.
Looking at this run, though, you can’t help but feel that the Pens have been handed a bit of a gauntlet. Their losing streak began against the Devils their opponents since have included the Hurricanes, Golden Knights (who they beat), Rangers, and Sabres. Save for Buffalo, that’s a very scary mix. Even the Sabres can be pesky, as they proved with a come from behind victory against Pittsburgh last night, potting three in the span of 12 third-period minutes. Thankfully, I can’t think of any other teams capable of blowing a two-goal lead to a lesser opponent right now.
Toronto and Pittsburgh got all of their games out of the way pretty early last year – their last game against each other was a year ago tomorrow. Toronto clinched the season series in this one, wining 4-1 on the back of a three-point night for Auston Matthews, and two-point night for WIlliam Nylander and Mitch Marner. Rickard Rakell scored Pittsburgh’s lone goal.
|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 – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano – Jake McCabe
William Lagesson – Conor Timmins
Starting In Goal
6-4-0, 0.909 SV%, 2.90 GAA
Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Drew O’Connor
Reilly Smith – Evgeni Malkin – Alex Nylander
Radim Zohorna – Lars Eller – Vinnie Hinostroza
Matthew Nieto – Noel Acciari – Jeff Carter
Ryan Graves – Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson – Erik Karlsson
Ryan Shea – John Ludvig
Starting In Goal
Tristan Jarry (probable)
6-8-0, 0.914 SV%, 2.64 GAA
We’ll see if Bobby McMann comes in again to give Reaves some rest (if they’re going to keep him in the rotation, splitting back to backs seems like a good idea), though the goal and his prior time in Pittsburgh may earn him the stay. I also wonder similar about Conor Timmins, since yesterday was his first game back from lengthy injury.
Pittsburgh could also see some changes to make up for the lack of rest, though nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Max Domi to score a goal
The Leafs are as they were yesterday – for those not keeping up, that means no John Klingberg for at least a while, if ever again. On Pittsburgh’s end, Rickard Rakell is on LTIR with an upper body injury, Chad Ruweel is week-to-week with a lower body injury, and Bryan Rust is day to day with a lower body injury.
- These two teams are 5-5 against each other in the last 10 games. If you bet equal money at typical market rates on the Leafs in all ten games, you’d be down 0.45 units. If you bet on them through the puck line, their 4-6 record would have you out 2.36 units.
- Taking Toronto on the puck line remains a money-on-fire situation right now. Yesterday’s loss keeps them at 1-9 on the puckline in their last 10. You’d be out about 8.1 units if you kept chasing that well. If you must take the Leafs, stick with the moneyline.
- Pittsburgh are 6-4 on both the moneyline and the puck line in their last ten.
Player prop trends
- If you haven’t been watching much of the rest of the league, well, Sidney Crosby’s back. He’s got 8 goals, 5 assists, and 33 shots on goal in his last ten games, including a goal and five shots last night agains the Sabres. Crosby has 23 points in his first 19 games, turning back the clock at 36 years old.
- Erik Karlsson’s production is still carrying on as he gets adjusted to the Penguins. Through 18 games he has 17 points, including 11 in his last 10 games.
- Quietly hot for the Maple Leafs: Max Domi has five assists in his last five games.
Wagers to consider
- What Domi doesn’t have in his hot streak, or this season, is his first Leafs goal. He does have a shootout tally, but not an actual goal to call his first with the team. Part of that is that he’s not shooting enough, but I do wonder if today’s game opens things up for him just a little more off the rush to get across the finish line. You can get him at +425.
- If you’re low on the Buds right now, a boosted same game parlay that seems interesting has Sidney Crosby putting up 3+ shots and a goal in a Penguins win, at +350 over the typical +325.
- Less so a bet to consider but more a bet to abstain, the top line hasn’t quite been themselves lately, and Auston Matthews has historically not been as dominant against the Penguins as he has other teams. He’s taken 18 shots in his last 6 games, which is an average beneath his prop line of 3.5, and he’s been pointless in 4 of the last 5. While he’s in the tier of talent where I wouldn’t be too shocked if he suddenly went nuclear tonight and got back on track, it doesn’t feel wise to lean into right now.