NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Islanders vs. Maple Leafs (January 23)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Ilya Sorokin.
- The Islanders look to snap their four-game losing skid when they meet Toronto on Monday night.
- Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are also coming off a loss, but they have won two of their past three games.
- Carol Schram dives into the matchup and offers up a best bet below.
Islanders vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-225|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
As they head north of the border, the New York Islanders will open a two-game Canadian road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.
Winless in their past four games, the slumping Islanders have slipped below the playoff bar in the NHL’s tight Eastern Conference. The steady Maple Leafs dropped an overtime decision on the road to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, but remain safely in second place in the Atlantic Division.
Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.
New York Islanders
So far, 2023 hasn’t been kind to the New York Islanders. Since the calendar flipped, Lane Lambert’s team has amassed a 2-6-3 record and lost ground in the playoff race.
The main culprit: lack of scoring. New York has managed just one goal in five of those 11 games, and has scored three or more just twice.
For the year, the Islanders rank 24th offensively (2.94 goals per game) and 27th on the power play (16.7%). Those numbers track with their expected goals share at 5-on-5, which sits at 48.07% (23rd).
And it’s too bad, because there are some great things happening in net. Ilya Sorokin has been a workhorse as he’s tied for the league lead with 36 appearances this season. He also boasts a .924 save percentage, 2.37 goals-against average and 23.8 goals saved above expected, which is second only to Boston’s Linus Ullmark. The Islanders are in the NHL’s top 10 in goals against and their penalty killing is top five, but the lack of scoring has made it next-to-impossible for them to pick up points.
The Islanders are dealing with a handful of injuries. Defenseman Adam Pelech is back skating after suffering a head injury in early December, but there’s no definite timeline for his return. Up front, Cal Clutterbuck, Kyle Palmieri, Oliver Wahlstrom and Hudson Fasching are sidelined.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Don’t put too much stock in the Leafs’ 3-2 overtime loss in Montreal on Saturday night. Big picture, Canada’s top team is heating up.
That starts with Auston Matthews, who’s on a 10-game point streak that includes seven goals. He’s up to 53 points for the year.
Matthews and his teammates aren’t lighting the lamp at the same pace they did last year, but their offense is still in the NHL’s top 10. Their power play remains strong, hitting at just over 24% and their 5-on-5 puck possession game is impressive at 53.49% (sixth).
The Leafs are also better in their own zone this season, sitting sixth in goals against. The penalty kill, however, is a little wobbly, and has given up at least one goal in three of the past five games.
In net, newcomers Ilya Samsonov and Matt Murray are both hanging in there, with respectable base stats and significantly positive goals saved above expected. However, Murray hasn’t played since he was pulled after giving up four goals on eight shots to Florida last Tuesday. If coach Sheldon Keefe is looking at the Islanders as one of the softer opponents in Toronto’s upcoming four-game homestand, he may use this opportunity to get Murray back between the pipes, hoping to restore his confidence.
The Leafs are also getting healthier as defenseman T.J. Brodie is getting close to returning from a rib injury that has sidelined him for a couple of weeks.
Islanders vs. Maple Leafs Pick
Sunday was a day off for both the Islanders and the Maple Leafs, so updates on lineups and starting goaltenders won’t be available until Monday morning.
That leaves bettors pondering a lopsided line and a Leafs team that gets the job done more often than not at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto is 17-3-4 on home ice this season, while the Islanders’ road record is a meager 10-11-3.
Lacking a gamebreaking scorer at this time, New York looks set for another defeat, though their strong goaltending should do a good job of keeping the damage done by Matthews and company to a minimum.
Your best value for this game lies with the under.
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