NHL Picks Today: Devils at Maple Leafs Odds, Picks, Live Score
Maple Leafs Try To Remain Unbeaten Against Perfect Devils
If you don’t believe that the salary cap era hasn’t produced parity in the NHL, feast your eyes upon the Vegas Golden Knights sitting atop the Pacific Division in the Western Conference. In the modern NHL, most teams have a decent chance to win through solid defense and a decent bounce or two. The Maple Leafs are obvious favorites against the Devils, especially in the comfortable confines of the Air Canada Centre. Don’t expect the Devils to serve up an easy win – they added scoring in the offseason and goalie Cory Schneider looks to have recaptured his form.
After dismantling the Jets, Rangers and Blackhawks, Toronto might be the best young team in the NHL. The Leafs have three good scoring lines, solid defense and a goaltender that bails them out of mistakes. New Jersey appears surprisingly strong after a terrible 2016-17 season, but Toronto’s depth should hand the Devils their first loss.
Toronto beat the puckline twice last year against New Jersey with a pair of 4-2 wins. Bet on Toronto beating the spread once again. The over/under stands at six for this game.
No team has held the Leafs to less than four goals, and New Jersey scored well against weaker defense. Both teams are due for a defensive battle, but the stats suggest otherwise, which makes over the better bet.
New Jerey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs Preview
After the first ten games of the season, many NHL teams have a rough idea of the season ahead of them. The Toronto Maple Leafs were an exception last year, requiring two months to figure things out. When coach Babcock taught the rookies how to complete in the NHL, Toronto’s first-year players realized that they possessed the speed and skill to compete at an elite level. A surprise playoff appearance and two big free agent signings lifted the Leafs up with the best of the east.
The Devils are in the middle of figuring out their team this year. New Jersey was toothless last season, scoring 183 goals while allowing 244, resulting in a last place finish in the eastern conference. They snagged Marcus Johansson from the cap-crunched Capitals and drafted Nico Hischier first overall, boosting the offense. Schneider looks like he shook off a rough 2016-17 season, ready to resume his duties as a top ten goalie in the NHL. Games against the Leafs, Captials, Rangers and Lightning will reveal the quality of the Devils.
Early on this season, the Devils and the Maple Leafs have scored buckets of goals, with both teams tied for best power play in the NHL. The Devils will have a tough time opening the floodgates against the Leafs, but Toronto’s deep scoring is unlikely to falter. An over/under of six feels a bit low because of Toronto’s prolific nature. There’s a good chance that the Leafs score four or five this game, while New Jersey’s unlikely to score less than two, making an over bet preferable.
The Leafs will eventually experience a slump of some sort, but that’s unlikely to occur against teams in the lower tier of the league. Toronto’s the hottest team in the NHL, unbeaten with the best goal differential in the eastern conference. The Devils have trouble playing in Toronto, winning only one of their last eight at the Air Canada Centre. Unless they completely reverse their winning ways, the Leafs should be considered strong favorites this evening.
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