After a win against Washington that was more commanding on the scoreboard than the shot clock, the Maple Leafs make their penultimate stop on their road trip as they take on the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Their Westen Conference foes are undefeated in regulation but have had one-goal margins in four of five games. Given prior history between the two teams, should we expect another?
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Stars
This game is a pick’em on the moneyline, with both teams available at -110.
Maple Leafs vs. Stars odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds||-110|
|Stars Moneyline Odds||-110|
|Puck Line odds||Maple Leafs +1.5 (-270), Stars -1.5 (+220)|
|Total Goals line||6.5 goals (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Oct. 26, 8:00 p.m. ET|
About the Maple Leafs (4-2-0 SU, 2-3 ATS, 2-2-1 o/u)
The talk of the town right now is the “goaltending controversy” that is brewing between Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll, though it’s probably closer to a split duo going through ups and downs. For Samsonov, it’s largely been downs, with a slow preseason and an .831 save percentage through four regular season games. For Woll, it’s been huge ups, putting up a .957 in two starts and one relief appearance. Woll was particularly fantastic against the Capitals on Wednesday, stopping 36 of 37 shots.
For Toronto, while they would obviously prefer Samsonov find his game so they can have two quality goaltenders, the back-and-forth isn’t a bad thing. Neither netminder has played a true starter’s workload in their professional careers, and the team will be best off if both are relying on each other throughout the season, regardless of who is the 1A or 1B at any given time. If it’s me, my bigger concern is the fact that Toronto only took 17 shots against Washington, though that only really becomes a problem if it becomes a pattern.
About the Stars (4-0-1 SU, 2-3 ATS, 1-4 o/u)
As mentioned, the Stars are having the most razor-thin run of dominance you’ll find in the league right now. Despite being 4-0-1, they’ve had four one-goal games (3-1), and three of those went to overtime. The mix of teams hasn’t been overly flattering either, with their wins coming against St. Louis, Anaheim, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh – three teams who aren’t expected to be good this year, and one that has struggled out of the gate. They did give the Vegas Golden Knights one of the toughest tests in their 7-0-0 streak, so maybe it’s not all bad news. Most of all, the Western Conference finalists are banking points that will be useful later, and they’re doing it with many of their top weapons not producing just yet.
Toronto’s last trip to American Airlines Center was pretty easygoing. John Tavares opened the scoring for the blue and white just a few minutes into the first period, and added three more along the way for a 4-0 win. It was one of Matt Murray’s last hurrahs with Toronto before the injury bug started to really set in, as he posted a 44-save shutout.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||OPPONENT TEAM|
Calle Jarnkrok – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Matthew Knies – David Kampf – Max Domi
Noah Gregor – Pontus Holmberg – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Jake McCabe – John Klingberg
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
Starting In Goal
2-1-0, 1.44 GAA, 0.957 SV%
Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
Matt Duchene – Tyler Seguin – Evgenii Dadonov
Mason Marchment – Radek Faksa – Craig Smith
Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell – Nils Lundkvist
Thomas Harley – Jani Hakanpaa
Starting In Goal
1-0-0, 3.81 GAA, 0.900 SV%
The Maple Leafs don’t appear to be changing anything going into tonight. Dallas, on the other hand, continues to shake up their group in hopes of getting some goals out of them. In particular, their second line of Mason Marchment, Matt Duchene, and Tyler Seguin has been broken up and fragmented across the bottom six, while a kids-and-a-captain line spearheaded by Wyatt Johnston and Ty Dellandrea with Jamie Benn supporting him has been given a bit more rope on the second line.
Mitch Marner to record over 2.5 shots on goal
Both teams are playing their full lineups tonight – injuries, for once, are no concern here. Well, unless you’re Conor Timmins. Poor guy.
- The Leafs are 8-2 in their last 10 against the Stars. For whatever reason, this has always been a good matchup for them. Sometimes not the most exciting one, but one that they usually find a way to come ahead in. Their last loss against Dallas came all the way back in February 2020, and the last prior in November 2018.
- On the puckline, they’re 4-5 over the same stretch, and 4-6 on the goals over. Again, not always a thriller in Dallas.
- As for the Stars’ own performances of late, they’re 6-4 in their last 10, and 3-7 on the puckline and the goals over. In their last five, which is perhaps more relevant to the current season, they’re 4-1 straight-up but 1-4 against the puckline and goals over – a lot of low-scoring, tight wins.
Player prop trends
- It’s been pretty quiet in Dallas of late, especially with their top players. Jason Robertson has just one goal through five games, a pace that’s a far cry from his 46 last year.
- In fact, Joe Pavelski is the only Stars player with more than two goals so far, and only him, Wyatt Johnson, Jamie Benn, and Roope Hintz have more than one. Even the shot generation front is pretty quiet, with Hintz being the only player above three shots per game right now.
- On Toronto’s end, Tavares is now up to a six-game point streak, picking up 10 points in that span. It’s his best start since his Hart-finalist 2014/15 season. I know I brought him up last game, but not bad for a guy who has had the rest of his career written off for the last three or four Septembers, yet keeps finding a way.
Wagers to consider
- If you like the Leafs to play the role of slump buster for their opponent, bet365 has a Stars-centric same-game parlay that will almost definitely occur in the near future – all that’s up for debate is whether it happens tonight. It has the Stars winning, scoring over 3.5 goals, and Robertson scoring one of those goals. You can get that at +400, up from +350.
- Numbers are moving quickly here, with the total shifting from 6.0 to 6.5 goals while writing this, in large part due to the confirmation of Wedgewood starting in goal for Dallas instead of Oettinger. This could swing either way, with each team dressing their backup, but Woll has been great, Wedgewood has been capable, and these games have traditionally been tight. So if you don’t think this is where the dam bursts for Dallas, the under at -115 remains tempting.
- As long as Mitch Marner is playing at less than his normal self, I’m going to continue to expect him to clear his shots overs in an attempt to find his groove. It didn’t happen against Washington, but it has happened in three of his last four games. You can get him at over 2.5 shots on goal for -125.