‘Canes to Blow Past The Leafs In Black Friday Hockey

Carolina Hurricanes

Dana Lane

Friday, November 24, 2017 8:19 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 8:19 PM GMT

The Leafs offensive slump continues against the Carolina Hurricanes from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina; Puck drops at 7:30 ET/4:30 ET

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Carolina Hurricanes

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Free NHL Pick:  Carolina Hurricanes -107Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

I guess we get the chance to see what the Carolina Hurricanes are made of after a crushing 6-1 home loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Not exactly the result you want to be thinking about as you’re trying to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and a day off. These games do give us an opportunity to make a note of what a team is made of. Do they bounce back because they were embarrassed or are they a team that lets a loss like this linger. The track record so far isn’t good for the Hurricanes; they’ve lost five of their last seven after allowing five goals or more in their previous game. The betting public is all over the Maple Leafs in this one according to the SBR odds page. Carolina opened as a slight -110 favorite but the avalanche of Leafs tickets from both the PROS and JOES pushed the ‘Canes to -107 which is the number I’m jumping on.

I’m not really certain where all this Leafs confidence is coming from because when we talk about teams that need to come back after a bad loss. I know any team can beat another on any night but when you get beat by the Arizona Coyotes on home ice, 4-1, you would think that the fire would burn brightly the next time out and that wasn’t the case. Toronto washed down the ‘Yotes loss with a shootout loss to the Florida Panthers who was another below average team that was supposed to be served up the Leafs to right the ship.

So, yes, the Rangers loss was bad for Bill Peters team but my gut tells me that his lockeroom is still a better place to be than wallowing in the air of uncertainty that is likely consuming the Maple leafs.

When you try to identify why a team is struggling you look to two things, one, goaltending, and two, scoring from their superstars. This is the issue the Leafs are having because there is only one Auston Mathews and if his impact isn’t felt then no one else is going to fill in the gaps for any significant period of time. Mathews hasn’t found his way on the scoresheet in either of the Leafs last two losses. I talked about this on the ‘Ice Guys Show’, just because a player is coming back from injury, as Mathews is, it doesn’t means he’s 100%. In fact, it isn’t the first game back that you have to worry about, it’s the games after. Why, because the final test of any injury is how a player will respond after playing in his first game back. The problem is, the better the player is the more likely it is that he’ll come back quicker than he should because of the amount of pressure on everyone to get him back on the ice.

I don’t like the Leafs body language right now so I’m backing the Hurricanes in this one as my NHL Pick of the day.

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