Kent Tukeli | Wed 04/10/2017 - 14:08 EDT

NHL Picks Today: Maple Leafs at Jets Odds, Picks, Live Score

NHL Picks Today: Maple Leafs at Jets Odds, Picks, Live Score

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Winnipeg Jets Prediction

In an NHL starved for scoring, fans were treated to a pair of rookies who have no problem lighting the lamp. Auston Matthews scored 40 goals, tied for second in the NHL, while Patrik Laine potted 37 tallies, finishing seventh. This year, neither star appears vulnerable to the sophomore slump, with the potential to improve on their impressive debut campaigns.

The Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs boast deep lineups with one major exception – goaltending. Winnipeg signed Steve Mason to take over the number one spot, betting that the former Calder Trophy netminder will rebound after declining over the past two years. Compare Mason to Frederik Andersen, who carried Toronto through growing pains last season. If Winnipeg fails this year, goaltending will be the most likely culprit.

My Team's Next MatchToronto Maple Leafs

Winnipeg plays well against Toronto at the Bell MTS Place.

The last time the Leafs beat the Jets in Winnipeg was February 2013. Since then Winnipeg has won five consecutive home games against Toronto, a streak likely to end this evening. 

Bet on Toronto winning outright, but hold off on the puck line, with the expectation of a one goal win for the Maple Leafs. The over/under for this game is six, a total which the Jets and Leafs should surpass. Feel free to bet over on what should be an explosive start to the NHL season.

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Toronto Maple Leafs at Winnipeg Jets Preview

Toronto and Winnipeg were among the most exciting teams in the NHL last season, filling the net on a consistent basis. The Jets were second in Western Conference scoring with 249 goals, while the Leafs were fourth in the east with 251 goals. Neither franchise was particularly adept at preventing the opposition from scoring – Toronto allowed 242 goals while Winnipeg ceded 256. Over 82 games, allowing an extra 14 goals doesn’t seem egregious, but the Jets missed the playoffs. Without defensive improvement, the Jets won’t return to the post season.

The Maple Leafs weren’t satisfied with their defense, so they purchased free agent Stanley Cup winner Ron Hainsey over the offseason. Compare this with Winnipeg signing Dmitry Kulikov and Steve Mason, neither of whom have competed for anything close to a Stanley Cup. Certainly, the Jets should improve a bit on the backline, but the Leafs investment in a proven winner is more likely to reap dividends. Hainsey will pass along his considerable experience to Leafs youngsters by showing them how shutdown defense works in the NHL.

Winnipeg has dominated the last ten meetings against the Leafs, winning eight games, with three of those victories occurring in extra time. However, this trend appears ready to reverse now that Toronto has switched from rebuilding mode into a “win now” frame of mind. This should result in closer games between these teams. Five of the last eight Winnipeg wins have been by two goals or more, another tendency which will soon cease.

Nonetheless, when two high-powered offenses meet, goals will be scored. The last ten games between the Jets and Leafs have resulted in an average output of more than seven goals per game. Incredibly, none of the best forwards on either team have hit their prime, including Matthews, Laine, Mitch Marner, Mark Scheifele, William Nylander and Nikolaj Ehlers. Expect scoring to rise between these two franchises as their young guns grow into their prime, beginning with tonight’s matchup.

Category : NHL

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