The Toronto Maple Leafs opened up their trip to Sweden with a big come-from-behind win against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A game that first planted seeds of doubt in Leafs Nation morphed into a late afternoon of excitement, setting the stage for them to come out of Stockholm with four points and a lot of happy players. To ensure that, though, they must go through the Minnesota Wild for the second half of their season series.
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Wild
Toronto enters the game as moneyline favourites, at -140. Please note that this game has an extremely early puck drop of 8:00 a.m. local Toronto time.
Maple Leafs vs. Wild odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds||-140|
|Wild Moneyline Odds||+120|
|Puck Line odds||Maple Leafs -1.5 (+170), Wild +1.5 (-200)|
|Total Goals line||6.5 goals (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Oct. 18, 8:00 a.m. ET|
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About the Maple Leafs (9-5-2 SU, 5-11 ATS, 7-8 o/u)
It was a true Swedish homecoming for Leafs forward William Nylander on Friday. Much of the team was flat for much of the contest, eventually conceding a penalty shot goal to Daniel Sprong and a follow-up tally from Lucas Raymond late in the second. Mitch Marner nearly pulled them within one, but the goal was disallowed due to the net coming off and the officials controversially ruling that the puck trajectory wasn’t heading toward the back of the net.
In the third, however, Nylander took off. Four minutes into the period, he cut in and set Tyler Bertuzzi up for a tap-in at the front of the net. A little under ten minutes later, he picked up a goal on a Toronto powerplay to tie the game, and 90 seconds after that, he helped set up John Tavares for the eventual game-winner, giving the crowd at Aviici Arena exactly what they were hoping for.
About the Wild (5-8-3 SU, 8-8 ATS, 10-5 o/u)
Minnesota made their first trip into the Stockholm Circuit this afternoon, taking on the Ottawa Senators. It didn’t go great for them. For a while, it looked like they were going to cruise to a vintage Minnesota Wild scoreline, holding a 1-0 lead going into the third period, but Erik Brannstrom scored his first of the year to level the game for the Sens, and Josh Norris scored the only goal in the entire shootout to push Ottawa across the finish line.
This means that, just like Friday, the Leafs’ opponent will be coming off a second half of a back-to-back, with a game the day before where they went the distance against the Ottawa Senators and lost in dramatic fashion. Overall, it’s been a really tough start for the Wild, losing 9 of their last 12 games. Their shot metrics haven’t been great, but they haven’t been terrible. Their goaltending has been rough, but their finishing has been good. The biggest issue is simply ending up on the wrong side of a lot of 1 and 2-goal games, indicating a team that should probably be closer to the middle than the basement.
The last game between these two teams came half the world away, but not too long ago. We only have to go back to the second game of this season, a little over a month ago, to find a high-scoring shootout between these two combatants. Ryan Hartman opened the scoring for Minnesota, but before the first period could end, the Wild were met with a trio of goals from Auston Matthews, Matthews again, and William Nylander. Tyler Bertuzzi added further insurance, and while Minnesota scored a pair in the second to close up the gap, the Leafs emptied the clip for three goals in a little under three minutes in the third to put the game out of reach. This game featured the second of Auston Matthews’ three hat tricks so far this season.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Minnesota Wild|
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 – Simon Benoit
Starting In Goal
Joseph Woll (projected)
5-4-0, 2.90 GAA, 0.908 SV%
Kirill Kaprizov – Marco Rossi – Mats Zuccarello
Marcus Johansson – Joel Eriksson Ek – Matthew Boldy
Marcus Foligno – Vinni Lettieri – Patrick Maroon
Brandon Duhaime – Connor Dewar – Nic Petan
Jonas Brodin – Brock Faber
Jacob Middleton – Jared Spurgeon
Jon Merill – Zach Bogosian
Starting In Goal
Marc-Andre Fleury (Projected)
(2023: record, 0.891 SV%, 3.55 GAA)
No changes are expected for today’s lineup, though I do wonder if we see a fourth-line adjustment here. The Leafs have been better, faster, and even feistier without enforcer Ryan Reaves in the lineup, but the last game in Minnesota was perhaps the one game that he’s played in this year where he felt like a sum-positive. So with that in mind, I wonder if they give him some reps in this one. I don’t really think they should, but it’s just something to keep an eye on.
Over on the other side, it’s great to see Marco Rossi start to thrive after his battles with Long Covid, and hey, it’s former Maple Leaf Zach Bogosian on the Minnesota blue line. He was just traded to the Wild about a week and a half ago.
William Nylander to score a goal
In talking with the media earlier on Saturday, Sheldon Keefe said that it’s “certainly getting to that place” where John Klingberg could be heading to Long-Term Injured Reserve. This comes a day after Klingberg referenced a nagging hip ailment that he’s played through for the past few years. Reaction to this is mixed, with some wondering whether this is a performance-based demotion in disguise, taking form as a one-way trip to Robidas Island. A thing to consider here is that such a nagging and chronic injury would explain the rapid decline of a player who was one of the league’s premier offensive defencemen. You would also think the injury weren’t serious, he wouldn’t be missing the two games being played in his home country. We’ll keep tabs on this moving forward. Beyond that, nothing changes from earlier in the week.
On Minnesota’s end, Frederick Gaudreau is on LTIR following an upper-body injury suffered last month, Alex Goligoski is on LTIR following a lower-body injury suffered in the last game against Toronto, and Ryan Hartman has an illness and did not play against the Senators, though it’s possibly we see him for this game.
- In their last ten games against each other, the Leafs have the edge on both the moneyline (7-3) and puck line (6-3). You’d gain 3.36 or 2.45 units respectively had you bet equal amounts on Toronto in all ten. The goals over has hit on five of ten, landing under four times and sitting on the line once.
- Don’t look now, but Toronto has won 4 of 5. If you’re a puck line better, though, it won’t feel that way – they’ve only hit it once in that stretch, and in two of their last ten. Goals have been plentiful recently and the over has hit in four of five.
- The Wild, on the other hand, enter this one 2-7 in their last 10. They’re 4-6 against the puck line in that stretch and have hit the goals over in five of ten.
Player prop trends
- Kirill Kaprizov is having a lukewarm start for his standards, which is still to say that he’s producing at a point-per-game clip. After a short cold streak, he has points in five of his last seven games.
- Joe Eriksson Ek has been flooding the shot column of late, picking up 35 shots in his last 10 games.
- Don’t look now, but Tyler Bertuzzi is starting to catch a groove on the Tavares-Nylander line, with 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games. He’s paired these with 17 shots on goal.
Wagers to consider
- The individual prop market still isn’t up yet – we’ll keep you updated once we know what’s available.