Free NHL Picks for Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

David Lawrence

Thursday, January 9, 2014 12:35 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 12:35 PM UTC

The Toronto Maple Leafs are coming off two very disappointing losses. They’ll try to put those behind them on Thursday when they visit Carolina but that could be easier said than done. The Hurricanes are playing really well right now and will be tough to stop.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs can win because…

They just beat Carolina in their final game of 2013. The Leafs only have four wins in their last 10 games but one of them was a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes. That’s going to give them the confidence they can do it again.

As bad as the Leafs have been since the start of November, this is still a relatively even matchup. They are two points better than the Hurricanes in the standings and Carolina does not play well at home. They’ve lost five of their last eight at home.

With it being a tossup, the Leafs are the better value play as they’re the underdog on the NHL odds.

The Carolina Hurricanes can win because…

The Leafs are a gong show these days. They’re coming off back-to-back home losses to the New York teams where they were outscored 12-4. They’ve now dropped 14 of their last 21 games.

The Hurricanes are the far better choice for your NHL picks right now as they’ve won four straight, which is their longest streak of the season. Goaltender Anton Khudobin has been a breath of fresh air for this team as he’s 5-0-0 with a 1.99 GAA this season. He’s the lead goaltender these days and if he keeps up his .940 save percentage – or comes close to it – the Hurricanes are going to have a great chance to win.

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Outlook & Pick

Toronto is simply a train wreck these days while Carolina is playing pretty well. As long as Khudobin is in net, the Hurricanes are worth a look as a small favorite here. Take the Hurricanes with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Canes -130 at Pinnacle

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