The Toronto Maple Leafs have been cooled off. After winning six straight, they’ve now dropped two in a row while being outscored 12-5 in the two contests. We’ll see if they can bounce back against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that’s won three straight and has been very good on the road of late.
The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because…
Logic has caught up with the Maple Leafs. It’s a little bit bizarre that Toronto has played well in January – at least the latter part of January – with their impressive six-game winning streak. The Leafs have allowed more goals this month than any other team (3.85 per game). That’s likely to catch up to them and clearly has with back-to-back losses where they’ve allowed 12 goals. When you look at the other teams that rank up there with the Leafs, giving up the same amount of goals, they’ve all been terrible this month. Edmonton is awful, the Canadiens have lost seven of 10 and the Philadelphia Flyers have lost seven of nine. Those are the other teams in the top-four for goals allowed this month and that shows that Toronto should come back down to Earth. Based on the current NHL odds, we like our chances with the Lightning.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Can Win Because….
They’ve been playing with a ton of confidence lately. They are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and have been lighting the lamp at a very healthy rate. The Dallas Stars caught them on an off-night last Thursday when they held them to just one goal but aside from that, they’ve scored four or more goals in six straight.
Tampa Bay has won three straight but January has not been their best month. Even with those wins, they are just 6-5 in their last 11. The Leafs have won five of seven at home.
Outlook & Pick
The Lightning have won nine of their last 11 road games and figure to have a huge edge in net here. With the Leafs struggling between the pipes and the Lightning scoring at a healthy clip (fifth-best goals-per-game average this month at 3.38), it makes sense to take Tampa with your NHL picks.Pick: Lightning -102 at Pinnacle