Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers head
into Monday’s meeting with plenty of momentum; they’ve each won four of their
last five games and while this type of performance might be expected from
Toronto, bettors are a little surprised to see this from Edmonton.
The Oilers have been among the worst teams in the NHL
this season but they have looked particularly strong over the last week with
wins over Detroit, Chicago and San Jose. The Maple Leafs will try to cool them down
and bring them back down to Earth.
Monday, February 7th
NHL Odds: Maple Leafs -160
Oilers can win because…
They are red-hot right now.
The Oilers have “shot up” the standings over the last
week on the strength of three straight wins. They are now 4-0-1 in their last
five games and that’s quite impressive considering they had only three wins in
their previous 18 games.
What’s even more impressive than the wins is who they’ve
come against and the fashion. The Oilers have topped the San Jose Sharks,
Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. Their lone loss in the last five
games was a 3-2 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Oilers are scoring goals at a healthy as they’ve
notched 13 in their last two games. Sam Gagner is on fire as he’s compiled 11
points on the team’s last 11 goals.
This is a young, talented squad and when they play with
confidence, clearly they can match up with anyone.
The Toronto Maple
Leafs can win because…
They are playing well as a team these days.
The Leafs have won two straight and are also 4-0-1 in
their last five games. Their penalty kill continues to be spotless as they
haven’t allowed a power play goal in 2012, which has spanned 22 straight
opposing man-advantages. They still rank 29th in penalty kill but
their turnaround has been quite impressive. They were the first team in the NHL
since 1974 to go a full month without allowing a power play goal.
The goaltender is typically the best penalty killer and
for the Leafs, they are getting good play in net from both keepers. The hot
hand (or glove, more aptly) these days is James Reimer, who has posted
back-to-back shutouts. His latest gem was a 5-0 shutout in Ottawa against the
rival Senators. He made a team season-high 49 saves.
The Leafs are finally healthy, they are getting good
goaltending and they are playing with discipline. Throw in some home-ice
advantage for Monday and they’ll be in good shape.
Outlook & NHL betting prediction:
This is a tricky game to handicap as the Oilers are
playing well and are scoring plenty of goals. At the same time, the Leafs are
doing well too, but for different reasons. They’ve been the recipients of
quality defense and goaltending.
Another team might take the Oilers lightly as they are
among the worst in the NHL but the Leafs, who have been paying good attention
to details lately, won’t overlook them. Take the Leafs to win on Monday.
NHL Picks: Maple