Much more often than not, the winner of the Presidents’ Trophy doesn’t win the Stanley Cup that same season. The Nashville Predators are well aware of that. They led the league with a franchise-record 117 points in the 2017-18 season but lost in seven games in the Western Conference semifinals to the Winnipeg Jets.
The Predators have reached one Stanley Cup Finals in their history, losing in six games to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in 2016. This year’s Preds team is good enough to get back there but clearly not as good as last year.
Maple Leafs vs Predators Betting Analysis
Toronto looks to avoid being swept by the Predators for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Leafs were blanked at home by Nashville on Jan. 7, 4-0. Pekka Rinne, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, had to make just 18 saves — another 23 were blocked before they reached Rinne. Nashville got two goals in the second period (Mattias Ekholm and Toronto native P.K. Subban) and two in the third (Colton Sissons and Kevin Fiala). Michael Hutchinson stopped 28 shots for the Leafs. They were very unlucky, hitting the post three times and having an Auston Matthews goal called back for offside.
The road team has won eight of the past 11 in the series. The total has gone under in five of the previous seven.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto lost at NHL-worst Ottawa 6-2 on Saturday night, the Leafs clearly a bit flat off a wild home win over the Flyers the night before. That result obviously won’t help Toronto catch Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series. Garret Sparks allowed all six goals on 44 shots and said his team “needs more emotion.”
Morgan Rielly and John Tavares had the two Toronto goals. It was Reilly’s 20th, making him the first blueliner in the NHL to get to that number this season and first in a Leafs sweater since Ian Turnbull in 1976-77. It was Tavares’ career-high 40th of the year. He’s fourth in the league. The Maple Leafs have been good on Tuesdays of late, winning seven of their past eight.
Nashville won its second in a row on Saturday 4-2 in San Jose to complete the three-game California Swing at 2-1. Filip Forsberg had the game-winning goal at 7:02 of the third, his 25th of the season. It was his first game-winner since Dec. 9 in Chicago and Forsberg also had an assist to be named the game’s No. 1 star. Viktor Arvidsson had two goals and has five of them over his past seven games. Colton Sissons also scored and backup netminder Juuse Saros made 24 saves. Likely be Rinne on Tuesday. He’s 25-18-3 with a 2.51 GAA and .913 SV.