Frank Doyle looks forward to the Wild at the Oilers, the Habs at the spluttering Ducks and the highlight of the night, Boston at Toronto!
No prizes for guessing what’s today’s game of the day. Two of the NHL’s hottest teams face off in Toronto when the Boston Bruins cross the border to take on the high scoring Maple Leafs as a sports betting road favorite.
Boston’s ten game winning streak came to an end on Friday when the Bruins lost a shootout to Detroit on Boston ice. But the Bruins shook that off with a 4-2 win against Winnipeg the day after, and they’re a clear favorite at Toronto tonight.
Toronto is one game ahead of the Bruins in the Northeast standings, but Boston has two games in hand and crushed Toronto in the two earlier meetings this season – 6-2 on October 20th in Boston, 7-0 in Toronto on November 5th.
In Toronto’s favor is that the Maple Leafs have been playing well again after hitting a dip when they lost goalie James Reimer to concussion-type symptoms over a month ago. The Leafs has won four of their past five and their high-octane offense has only been shut out once this year – that 7-0 spanking from the Bruins at the start of the month. The Leafs are hungry for revenge, but the Bruins are World Champions for a reason.
The Leafs last game was a 5-2 win at Anaheim, where the Ducks are suffering their worst losing streak in six years. Anaheim has lost seven straight and is a miserable 1-8-3 in the month of November so far.
Tonight the Ducks host the Habs, who have their own problems. Montreal has lost three of its last four and has to play without leading scorer Max Pacioretty, who is on a three game suspension for a hit on Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang on Saturday.
Tonight is the start of a three game California series for Montreal – the Habs visit the Sharks tomorrow and the Kings on Saturday before going home to Columbus next week. The wounded Ducks are Montreal’s best chance for a win out of those three, and the Canadiens have to take advantage.
Finally, the Oilers will hope to draw strength from the win at Minnesota on Friday when the Wild visit Edmonton tonight.
Minnesota leads the Northwest because the Wild has one of the best defenses in the League, but the Oilers have been busy in front of goal lately – they’re averaging four a game since thumping the Blackhawks 9-2 eleven days ago, after starting the season with a 2.27 average. Can they keep it up tonight against Cal Clutterbuck the Wild?