When the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings face off on Sunday, it’ll be a battle of two Atlantic Division teams. The Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers are the two leading teams in the Atlantic Division, but things start to get cluttered after that.
The Maple Leafs (50 points) and Red Wings (47 points) aren’t all that far apart, so this will be a critical matchup as both teams will be playing the second half of back-to-back sets after playing on Saturday.
Bet on Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs
In our preview, we’ll take a look at how both teams got here, what happened in the last matchup, injuries you need to know about, and more.
Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs odds
|Red Wings Moneyline Odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds
|Maple Leafs -1.5 (+120), Red Wings +1.5 (-140)
|7 goals (-105 over, -115 under)
|Jan. 14, 7:00 p.m. ET
|Broadcast: Sportsnet Ontario
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
About the Red Wings (21-16-5 SU, 20 -14 ATS, 21-12-1 o/u)
Heading into the season, there were many people bullish on the Wings. They’re perhaps not quite where everyone thought they could be, but at fifth in the Atlantic, they’re right in the thick of it. The Atlantic’s top half is as tough as it gets and the Wings being just three points out from third feels like a good place to be.
Many were high on the Alex DeBrincat trade, and it has paid dividends for the Red Wings. He leads the team in points (39) and goals (17). He feels a bit up and down at times with his streaky play, but it is his first season with a very young team. His connection with Dylan Larkin is definitely a big positive for both this year and the future for the Red Wings.
At 3.55 goals per game (tied for fourth in the NHL), the Wings offence doesn’t get the credit it deserves. They are outscoring teams like the Rangers, Bruins, Lightning, Panthers, Golden Knights, Penguins, and more. Defensively, there is a lot of work to be done. They have given up 3.38 goals per game this season, tied for 24th in the league.
James Reimer (3-6-2, 3.41 GAA, .889 SV%) is the confirmed starter in goal for the Wings.
The Red Wings are in a perfect position right now. They are hovering right around one of the wild card spots, the offence shining. Defensively, things could get dicey if they can’t figure out how to keep the puck out of their net. But if they can stay right near the bubble, and even get into the playoffs, it would be a major win for the franchise.
About the Maple Leafs (21-11-8 SU, 9-25 ATS, 17-16-1 o/u)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Toronto’s offence is outstanding and the defence/goaltending is doing just enough to get the job done.
The Leafs are 20th in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.23), and they’ve undergone some issues between the pipes. Goaltending duties have been split almost exactly even between Joseph Woll, Ilya Samsonov, and Martin Jones. Jones came on late but has been quite good overall. He’s 8-4-1 with a 2.30 GAA and .924%. Woll has been decent, 8-5-1/2.80/.916%. But the major issue has been Samsonov. His 5-2-6 record isn’t awful but his 3.94 GAA and .862 SV% are atrocious. We’ve seen streaky netminders playing for the Maple Leafs before. The hope is that Jones can continue his excellent run and provide stability over the rest of the season. He might not have a Jack Campbell-type run but with this offence, he may not need to.
As of Sunday morning, head coach Sheldon Keefe hasn’t named his starting goaltender. However, he did say that Jones won’t be in between the pipes after playing Saturday. That means either Samsonov or Dennis Hildeby will get the nod.
Now, on to the offence. With all due respect to Auston Matthews, who leads the NHL with 33 goals, this is the William Nylander Show. He’s tied for sixth in the NHL with 57 points, nine more than Matthews. He recently signed an 8-year, $92 million extension and has been delivering at a higher level this season than ever before.
For now, things are good in Toronto. Flying a bit behind the top two in the division might be a bit of a blessing. The Leafs have been victims of some major hype for the last several years, especially with the names on their roster. The Leafs can still score in bunches but look a little more willing to win tough this season.
We’re only in the middle of January, so a lot can change. Matthews is an exceptionally great two-way player, and he will need to perform for the Leafs when it matters. For now, the Leafs are par for the course, except for with their goaltending.
These two teams haven’t seen each other in a bit, last meeting up in Sweden as part of the NHL’s Global Series on Nov. 17. The Wings jumped out to a two-goal lead in the second period after a scoreless first period. Lucas Raymond, one of the young studs for the Wings, got on the board to help grab the lead.
That said, the Leafs showed real moxie in the third period. The trio of Tyler Bertuzzi, John Tavares, and Nylander took over and became the difference in this one. They combined for all three goals and eight points in the final frame to give Toronto a 3-2 victory.
Leafs fans could breathe a sigh of relief when Tavares tallied the second even-strength goal of the period to put Toronto up for good. The best teams find a way to win even when things aren’t going well. This was one of those games that the Leafs can feel good about in that regard.
Auston Matthews to score a goal
The only name of note on the injury list for the Red Wings is goaltender Ville Husso. He’s been dealing with a lower-body injury, but he is skating again. He hasn’t regained full movement, so he likely still has some time before he returns.
While the foundational pieces of this team are still there, the Leafs are dealing with a few major injuries. Defenceman John Klingberg had hip surgery and is done for the rest of the season. Tough forward Ryan Reaves has been placed on injured reserve right alongside Woll. This will be a test of the Leafs’ depth moving forward.
- The Leafs have been hot against the puckline of late. After a stretch when they failed to cover in five of six games, they have since responded by covering four of seven. They had covered four of five in a run against West Coast teams before losing in overtime to the Islanders on Thursday.
- The Red Wings have been quite good in terms of playing over the total this year. Though they have gone under in two of their last three, they had ripped off five straight overs and seven of eight since Dec. 20. These two offences can get hot, though the only matchup so far combined for just five goals.
Player prop trends
- Matthews’ points prop is set at 1.5. Over his last 10 games, he has three multi-point games and a single point in three others. In that span, he has been hot putting the puck in the net. He has a goal in five of 10, totalling seven tallies in that span.
- Tavares has been cold as of late. He has no points in his last three games and has struggled to create much offence.
- Larkin has really been on a roll for the Wings. His points prop is 0.5 and he has been a very good bet to cover. He has points in each of his last four games. During that time he has three goals and two assists and is a good bet to get on the board in this one.
Wagers to consider
- Matthews has been a beast against the Red Wings historically. He has 16 goals in 22 games against them (31 points overall). Grab the Matthews anytime scorer prop (-135) and look for him to build on his league lead.
- Larkin missed the matchup with the Wings earlier this season but has been very good against them of late. In his last five games against the Leafs, he has picked up at least a point in four of them. He has three multi-point games against them in the last five, including a hat trick the last time out (4/2/2023). Take Larkin’s points over (0.5, -220).
- The Red Wings have been very good on the puckline this season. With the Red Wings being +1.5, it is an enticing bet (-140), especially given the fact that the Red Wings have played six one-goal games over their last 10.