ATSSkinner | Sat 20/01/2018 - 12:58 EST

Ottawa And Toronto Meet For The Second Time In 10 Days

Ottawa And Toronto Meet For The Second Time In 10 Days

Toronto Needs To Break Out Of This Slump Fast

My Team's Next MatchOttawa Senators

Ten days ago when these two teams last met, the narrative coming in was all about how if the Senators would be able to put a recent beating behind them and play solid hockey. This time, it's the Leafs who are having issues as they've lost four in a row overall and had G Fredrik Andersen air out some of his grievances with the team's play through the media after their last loss. Blown leads late and inept offensive production were the root of those complaints and it will be interesting to see how Toronto responds as a whole tonight.

Meanwhile, Ottawa's only played once since that win over the Leafs and it was a 4-1 home loss to the St Louis Blues earlier this week. The Senators are probably a week or two away from making the tough decisions as an organization to either let 2017-18 go - deal some assets and begin planning for next year - or do what they can to make a playoff push by racking up wins. I'd lean towards the former being the eventual outcome for this squad and the fact that they are home underdogs against a slumping Toronto team tells you oddsmaker would tend to agree.

Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Ottawa Senators Odds

Toronto (-135) vs. Ottawa (+115): Total: 6

The most intriguing part about this game tonight is how the Leafs will respond as a whole after getting called out by their goalie. Remember, this is the same Fredrik Andersen who never got called out by his teammates/coaches when he was awful for the beginning of last year and even the start of this year. Anderson was quietly given the opportunity to improve his play and that's exactly what he did. But him going out and airing his greivances and taking shots publically is likely to force this Leafs team one of two ways:

Either the Leafs will fracture at the seams, start to really point fingers and name names as bad plays and losses continue to mount, or Toronto will unite as a group, become more self-accountable and start piling up the wins. Given all the young talent on this team there is no reason this team can't be piling up wins seemingly at will and it's that route of action that I expect Toronto to take at least for the immediate future.

Toronto Vs. Ottawa Selection: Toronto ML -135

Toronto may be in the midst of a slump right now, but blowing leads late is nothing new for this young team as it's something they've worked through on many occasions in the past. The only difference this year is that expectations are much higher now and that when it happens multiple times in a row it gets blown out of proportion. But in order to blow leads late you've got to have the lead late in games and with five of thier last six games going to extra time, Toronto is still grabbing at least something in the standings on a consistent basis.

But tonight's the night they get the full two points in the standings as all that frustration from these leads and having their goalie call them out gets expelled completely. I would not want to be a Sens player tonight as this game could end up turning very ugly in a hurry for Ottawa, especially with the Sens being 7-20 SU in their last 27 overall and 2-7 SU after losing by 3+ goals. When Toronto gets a lead tonight you won't see them blow it as they'll keep adding to it and adding to it to make it too tough for Ottawa to even sniff a comeback.

Category : NHL

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