The National Hockey League is shifting time zones a little this week, with four of it’s teams descending on Sweden to bring the highest level of the game to one of their biggest global markets. Things kicked off on Thursday with the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators kicking their part of the Global Series off and today, it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs’ turn, taking on Detroit in a neutral site game in a place where both teams get a lot of historical love.
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings
The Leafs enter the market with both standard projections and rest in their favour, and are heavy favourites at -175 moneyline odds. Please note that this is a Friday afternoon game, with a much earlier-than-usual start.
Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds||-170|
|Red Wings Moneyline Odds||+150|
|Puck Line odds||Maple Leafs -1.5 (+140), Red Wings +1.5 (-160)|
|Total Goals line||6.5 goals (over -135, under +115)|
|Time/Date||Nov. 17, 2:00 p.m. ET|
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About the Maple Leafs (8-5-2 SU, 5-10 ATS, 7-7-1 o/u)
One can argue that Toronto received a stretch of rest at the worst possible time this week, though that feeling might vary from person to person. With a less dominant expected overall start to the season, a five-day layover may be a good reset, particularly for the players who get to skate a little closer to home. At the same time, the Leafs are coming off of what may be their most complete effort of the season, a 5-2 domination of the otherwise red-hot Vancouver Canucks.
It was one where Toronto sat enforcer Ryan Reaves, but saw Mark Giordano and Max Domi stand up for their teammates after big hits in the early goings of the first period. It was one where polarizing offensive defenceman John Klingberg returned after taking a game off with an undisclosed injury, but one where they allowed fewer than three goals for the first time in seven games. It was one where the fourth line didn’t get their lunch fed to them on the shot and goal counter, but instead found the back of the net twice. It felt like a whole different team.
So in that respect, you worry a little that such an extended break could hurt them. We’ll find out pretty quickly whether or not it ends up being a boost or a takeaway of momentum when they could’ve used it most.
About the Red Wings (8-5-3 SU, 9-7 ATS, 11-5 o/u)
One thing that was already playing to Toronto’s advantage with the gap stretch was the huge disparity of rest – as mentioned in our schedule preview earlier in the week, five days off versus a back-to-back is one of the biggest mismatches of the year. To make matters worse for Detroit, Thursday was a particularly exhausting night at the office, a game which went to the final seconds of overtime. The Red Wings, at one point, had trailed 4-0 to the Senators, before clawing their way back. To travel across the world, get chased out of the game, fight back, play extra time, and then get utterly deflated by an all-time crazy winning goal by the Senators is a rough spot to be in for any team, let alone one coming in as the underdog on talent.
Leading into the week, Detroit’s season has been pretty up and down. The Wings lost their season opener, won five in a row, and have since lost seven of their last ten, with only two of three wins coming in regulation. In this ten-game stretch, they’ve scored 29 goals, two fewer than they did during the five-game win streak. The full sum of the team is about where they should be, if not still slightly overachieving, but the up-and-down nature makes it difficult to gauge which version of the team you’ll get at any point.
The last time these two teams played was back in April of last season, at least if we’re not counting preseason (we don’t count preseason). While Toronto typically has little issue with this Red Wings team, Dylan Larkin made sure this wouldn’t be an easy one. While Olli Maatta and Jonatan Berggren were the ones who built up Detroit’s lead in the first period, Larkin was the one who really put it out of reach, when he scored an insurance tally late in the opening frame, responded to John Tavares trying to give the Leafs life again in the third, and added an empty netter to secure a hat trick. Alex Nedjelkovic, now with Pittsburgh, stopped 43 of 45 in a game where Toronto had the majority of the shot share.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Detroit Red Wings|
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 – John Klingberg
Starting In Goal
Joseph Woll (projected)
5-4-0, 2.90 GAA, 0.908 SV%
Alex Debrincat – Dylan Larkin – Lucas Raymond
Andrew Copp – JT Compher – David Perron
Robby Fabbri – Joe Veleno – Christian Fischer
Klim Kostin – Michael Rasmussen – Daniel Sprong
Jake Walman – Moritz Seider
Ben Chiarot – Jeff Petry
Olli Maatta – Shayne Gostisbehere
Starting In Goal
(2023: record, 0.891 SV%, 3.55 GAA)
Right now the Leafs project to have the same lineup as they did against Vancouver, though we could see some change in the fourth line or third pair depending on injuries, whims of the air, or whatever else.
William Nylander to score a goal
There is still a lot of “will he, won’t he” energy surrounding John Klingberg, who has been a bit of a mysterious figure in recent days. He’s been a non-participant in recent practices, though he did play against Vancouver on Saturday.
On Detroit’s end, Auston Czarnik has been out for most of the past couple of weeks with a lower-body injury.
- The Leafs are 8-2 in the last two games between these two teams, and 7-3 on the puck line. If you’d placed an equal bet on Toronto in all ten games at their typical market rate, you’d be up approximately 5.27 units on straight-up/moneyline bets and 3.36 units on spread/puckline bets.
- Remember, this is a neutral site game, so worrying about home and away splits isn’t worth your time. Toronto is 5-5 in their last 10 overall and 3-7 against the puck line. They’ve hit the goals over in half of those games.
- Before their game today, Detroit was 4-6 straight up, 3-7 against the puck line, and 6-4 on the goals over in their last 10.
Player prop trends
- The league had Alex Debrincat fever after he exploded for 9 goals and 13 points in his first seven games, but that’s since tapered off a bit. In the eight that followed, Debricant had just a goal and an assist. On Thursday, he didn’t factor in on any of Detroit’s four goals.
- Someone who did factor in on a lot of Detroit’s action on Thursday was Shayne Gostisbehere, who notched a goal and two assists, helping lead the comeback which ultimately secured them a point. This snapped a seven-game drought for the 30-year-old, who had started strong with nine points in his first seven. Is the start of a new streak coming? He’d certainly like that to be the case.
- Alex Lyon may be making his season debut in this one, but that’s all the more reason that Leafs fans will get nervous. Lyon is a noted spoiler in Toronto lore, dominating them twice in March and April, stopping 61 of 65 shots across two starts for Florida.
Wagers to consider
- Despite the above with Lyon, the rational play is likely to look at the Toronto puck line, sitting at +150 at time of first publish. The Wings will be tired, he’ll be without reps, and you hope the Leafs will be fresh and eager to make their mark on this event.
- William Nylander just won’t stop scoring, and now he’s got the chance to strut his stuff in front of his friends and family. If you like him to extend his point streak to sixteen games, you can get a point at -280, an anytime goal at +115, or +165 for a powerplay point. Ont he other side, if you think the setting is too perfect and that will lead to the end of this streak, you can take him for +205 for under 0.5 points.
- If you like the Red Wings to try to empty the tank before they head home, a Wings win and 3+ shots for Larkin and Debrincat can be had for +550 on a boosted same-game parlay, up from +475. I’m not totally sure the Wings have the juice in them, so this requires a lot of narrative-arcing. But if Detroit does pull it off, it’ll likely require big games from those two, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.