Wednesday’s NHL bet du jour: Toronto at Anaheim
Rangers -1.5 was never really in doubt during the last four seconds of regulation. We will take it.
Moving on to Wednesday…
It might not be surprising to some people, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have dropped three games in a row, including two home games as decently sized favorites (-150 and -135). They were outplayed on Monday night in San Jose, as they allowed 39 shots on goal and could only muster 18 shots on goal themselves. A big reason for that is they did not have one opportunity on the power play. Tonight should be different, as the Anaheim Ducks have taken 53 minor penalties in 11 games. They are averaging just over 14 penalty minutes per game, which is fourth-worst in the National Hockey League.
The Toronto offense has cooled off a bit in the sense they have not scored more than three goals since the 18th, but the underlying statistics can provide some insight as Toronto still sports a league-best 3.13 xGF/60 at 5-on-5. Conversely, the Ducks check in with the third-worst xGF/60 at 5-on-5 (2.08). The Ducks were able to win three out of four games on their road trip, including in Tampa Bay and Carolina as +150 underdogs. However, tonight is their first game back from the road trip in a nonconference matchup that is sandwiched between Friday night’s Western Conference Finals rematch from a season ago.
Toronto is far too talented of a team to drop too many games in a row, and even though ex-Duck Frederik Andersen has struggled, the Honda Center is a venue where he is more than comfortable as his 11-1-3 record (1.90 GAA, .931 SV%) in 2015-16 and 18-7-2 record (2.39 GAA, .917 SV%) in 2014-15 suggests. Helping matters for Andersen is that the Ducks will be without centers Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler, two key pieces both offensively and defensively. Look for the Leafs to end their losing streak in Anaheim tonight.
Fair Odds: Leafs -130
Nothing else on the ice for Wednesday.
YTD: 12-11 +0.5 units