NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Maple Leafs (October 20)
Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares
Stars vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-175|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Dallas Stars are coming off a very convincing 4-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. They’ve had an incredible start to the season, going 3-0, and will look to stay undefeated against a struggling Toronto squad.
If you’re a hockey fan, I don’t need to tell you what the Toronto Maple Leafs did in their last game. But, if you’re not, they were the overwhelming favorite against Arizona – and managed to lose 4-2 in their home building.
Not exactly encouraging for a team that has high hopes.
Will the Leafs respond well after their disappointing loss? Or will the Stars shine in the “6” and stay hot?
Lots of Shine to This Season's Dallas Stars
Dallas has quite a deep roster, but the Stars have needed better production out of some players over the past few years.
Mason Marchment is having a great start to the year with his new squad, as are studs such as Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and even Tyler Seguin. Seguin and captain Jamie Benn have widely been ridiculed since they’re Dallas’ highest-paid players, but over the past few years, they haven’t lived up to their large contracts.
I really like what I’ve seen out of the Stars at even strength. They’ve managed to generate offense at a really solid pace with an expected goals rate of 53.87 xGF%, and the defense has held up their end to give their goaltending quality saves.
Special teams have clicked on all cylinders, connecting on the power play three times out of 10 tries. The penalty kill has been incredible to start, stuffing opposing man advantages 93% of the time.
Jake Oettinger made himself known to the hockey world last year by dazzling in the playoffs. I fully expect the third-year netminder to take the crease for his fourth straight start. So far, Oettinger has allowed only three goals on 87 shots, which adds up to a .966 SV%, while also having a league-leading +3.8 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).
Lot of Depth with Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto is probably one of the deeper teams in the league this year. There’s an abundance of talent with players all capable of scoring 70+ points.
Captain John Tavares is the team's leading scoring, Auston Matthews is probably the best goal scorer in the league, and Mitch Marner and William Nylander are always threats to rack up points.
Whenever the Leafs have the puck, they have haunted opposing defenses. Although the record isn’t exactly encouraging to most Leaf fans, they’re generating good offense. They have a 52.27 xGF%, and have created the third most high-danger chances.
Last season, they had the deadliest power play in the league. This year it hasn’t been exactly the same just yet, though, connecting on only three of their 14 tries with the man advantage.
For years, the Leafs' goaltending situation has continued to be a problem. They’ve already put Matt Murray on LTIR so he won’t play, and Erik Kallgren struggled against Arizona. This may be the time that Ilya Samsonov grabs the bull by the horns and takes the No. 1 spot. I actually thought it was a great signing in the offseason since he’s shown flashes in Washington. In two starts, the Russian netminder has taken the net in both of Toronto’s wins and posted a .926 SV% and +1.1 GSAx.
Stars vs. Maple Leafs Pick
With an over/under of 6.5, I can certainly see this reaching the over.
Oettinger has proven himself to be a dynamic netminder, but I can see Toronto getting to him quite a bit. Even the best have off days, and this game tells me Oettinger won’t have the same luck he’s had the first three games. Matthews hasn’t had a whole lot of scoring luck recently, and Dallas has a tendency to give up a few high-danger chances here and there.
The Stars also have premium scorers, and with the Leafs’ goaltending questions and the fact that they allow the 31st-most high-danger chances, it’s a good recipe for pucks to get through. I truly think this has a good shot to be a shooters' paradise.
Pick: Over 6.5 (-115)