We’re not sure that Tuesday night could’ve gone worse for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team started flat, Ilya Samsonov, in his own words, “played like s***,”, and the team now has a suspension in tow. Perhaps most importantly, the Leafs are down 0-1 in their best-of-seven series to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s going to take all they’ve got to steer this ship around, so let’s take a look at what has to happen for Game 2 to be a good one.
Canada Sports Betting will be providing comprehensive betting previews for each game of this series, so check back over the next couple of weeks for all of the latest odds information and news! Coast to Coast will also run on my end every Friday down the stretch.
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds||-170|
|Lightning Moneyline Odds||+150|
|Over/Under||6.0 goals (over +100, under -120)|
|Time/Date||Tuesday, Apr. 18, 7 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: CBC (National)|
Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific (Regional)
TVA Sports (French Broadcast)
Stream: CBC.ca (Free!)
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
As mentioned in the intro, this was a Murphy’s Law kind of game for Toronto, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. It wasn’t all bad luck, though, as the team looked completely unprepared for the opening minutes and was punished for it by Tampa. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored just 78 seconds in, and Anthony Cirelli followed six minutes later. As icing on the cake, Nikita Kucherov added a power play goal with just four seconds left in the period. With that said, the Leafs had started to play better at that point, and hey, a last-second power play goal is a freak occurrence and likely wouldn’t happen again any time soon.
Ryan O’Reilly gave the Leafs some hope with a power play goal eight minutes into the second period, and William Nylander added another to bring the game even closer. A questionable slashing penalty to David Kampf seconds later sent the game back the other way, as Brayden Point picked up a power play tally of his own.
|April 18, 2023||Toronto||7-3 TBL (+1.5, +140)||6.0 (over)|
|April 11, 2023||Tampa Bay||4-3 TOR (+1.5, +182)||6.5 (over)|
|Dec 20, 2022||Toronto||4-1 TOR (-1.5, -141)||6.0 (under)|
|Dec 3, 2022||Tampa Bay||4-3 TBL (-1.5, -137)||6.0 (over)|
Michael Bunting put the game to rest by taking a match penalty for what was, frankly, a needless hit to the head of Erik Cernak. Corey Perry took advantage of it with a goal that may or may not have crossed the goal line, and when the Leafs put in a Hail Mary challenge for goaltender interference, they failed and slid down to a 5-on-3 penalty kill. Once again, with two seconds left, Point beat Samsonov and made it 6-2 for Tampa, essentially putting the game out of reach.
Joseph Woll filled the net for the third period, and the game essentially became dead time. Ross Colton beat him to give the Lightning one more, while Calle Jarnkrok responded with the final goal of the game a minute later. Twelve minutes of formalities later, and the game was over.
About the Maple Leafs (0-1, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 o/u)
Player to watch: Matthew Knies
Bunting’s needless hit on Cernak earned him a three-game suspension – harsh by historical standards, but not unfair in a vacuum. This allows the Leafs to bring Matthew Knies into the fold for his first career playoff game.
Knies, who went pro with the Leafs a few weeks ago after a great season with the University of Minnesota, picked up one point in his three regular season games with the Buds – an assist against Tampa in a win. Maybe that’s a good omen for them.
About the Lightning (1-0, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 o/u)
Player to watch: Tanner Jeannot
Jeannot is expected to come back from injury tonight, well ahead of his expected timeline. The Lightning paid a lot to get him at the trade deadline this year – a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and Cal Foote – and from a production standpoint he’s looked less like last year’s 24-goal rookie and more like a depth player, notching four points in 20 games with the club. But, they hope his tough playstyle will translate better to postseason hockey.
Maple Leafs: Ilya Samsonov (27-10-5, 2.33 GAA, 0.919 SV%)- confirmed.
Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy (34-22-4, 2.65 GAA, 0.915 SV%)- unconfirmed.
Bunting takes Knies’ spot in the Toronto press box, as mentioned above. Cernak is out for Tampa following the Bunting hit, and Michael Eyssimont is out as well, likely being replaced straight up for Jeannot. Victor Hedman is a game-time decision.
Betting trends to watch
- Toronto is 7-3 on the puckline over its last 10 games.
- The teams are 5-5 straight up in their last 10 meetings in Toronto.
- Tampa Bay is 4-6 in its last 10 road games.
Wagers to consider
- If you like the favourites across the league to bounce back, a Boosted 3-Team Parlay is available on bet365. Toronto, Colorado, and Vegas as victors is available at +288, up from +253.
- Ryan O’Reilly is sliding down to the primary option on Line 3 – over 1.5 shots at -140 is intriguing.
- Ilya Samsonov tends to respond well to bad nights – over 27.5 saves is available at -120.
Other NHL Games Tonight
There are three additional games on the NHL schedule tonight. Here’s who we’ve got on tap: