Maple Leafs Face Red Wings In Original Six Matchup
The Red Wings have been playing well, starting the season 4-1 before losing a close one against the Lightning, currently the top team in the eastern conference. Defenseman Mike Green and winger Zetterberg have turned back the clock, leading Detroit in scoring.
Other than a collapse against the NJ Devils, Toronto’s been fulfilling the promise they displayed last season, maturing quickly into one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Auston Matthews has been lights-out, leading Toronto in scoring and personally ending a pair of games in overtime.
Toronto rebounded brilliantly after letting the Devils run rampant, tightening up their defense and preventing Ovechkin and the Capitals from scoring last night.
Despite playing back-to-back games and starting their backup goalie, the Leafs should avoid another letdown, winning their fifth straight against Detroit.
Detroit's no pushover, which makes the puckline uncertain. The Leafs are more likely to squeeze out a one-goal win instead of winning by two or more goals.
The over/under for this game is six, and these teams average more than six goals per game in their last four meetings - including a pair of 5-4 results.
Bet on the over, expecting a 4-3 or 5-4 final score.
Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs Preview
The Toronto Maple Leafs have won four in a row against Detroit, and seven of their last ten against the Red Wings. This four-win streak started on New Year’s Day, after the Leafs transformed into a playoff club. Matthews and co. scored more than 4.25 goals a game against Detroit, allowing an average of 2.5 against. Both teams show improvement early on this season, which should make this matchup more competitive than expected.
The Leafs will lose if they take a day off like they did against the Devils.
Coach Mike Babcock warned his players about defensive lapses during the first few games of the season, which were mostly ignored because of the buckets of goals that Leafs forwards produced. The loss to the Devils started reversing the trend, and by the third period of their Saturday night game against the Canadiens, the Leafs appeared much more cohesive.
Toronto’s shutout against Washington was their most complete performance of the year. If they continue playing great defense on a nightly basis, few teams will keep up this season.
Detroit’s a solid team, especially with a mix of rising young stars playing well alongside revived veterans. Since the Red Wings don’t have the depth and talent of the Leafs, Detroit’s odds of winning depend on Toronto’s quality of play.
Detroit features a decent top six and strong goaltending, giving them a chance to beat most teams on any given night. However, the Leafs might have the best fleet of forwards in the NHL, and Frederik Andersen is a top-ten netminder, capable of stealing a win on his own.
As such, it’s unlikely that the Red Wings will stop the Leafs winning streak on Wednesday, even if the Leafs are on a tail end of a back-to-back. The Leafs should vault into first place in the eastern conference this evening with a close victory over their original six rivals.
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