Free NHL Picks: Profit with NY's Puck Line in Maple Leafs vs. Rangers

David Lawrence

Friday, October 30, 2015 12:59 PM GMT

The Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled to find the win column despite being a competitive team. Will that trend continue on Friday night. Check our free NHL pick inside.

Momentum
The Maple Leafs should have some momentum based on the way they have performed so far but they have just one win to show through their first eight games and the schedule is about to get a lot tougher with games against New York, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Winnipeg, Detroit and Washington coming up.

Meanwhile, the Rangers will be rested and fresh after four days off since their 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames and after earning at least a point in five straight games they will certainly have the momentum on their side heading in to this matchup on the NHL odds.

 

Projected Starting Goalies
With so much time off between games there is a good chance it will be Henrik Lundqvist back between the pipes for New York. Lundqvist is 4-2-2 with a 1.97 GAA and .941 save percentage in eight games this season and should be locked in for this one.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs will start Jonathan Bernier on Friday and then likely give James Reimer the nod against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Toronto would love for Bernier to seize the starting job and prove that he can be their franchise goaltender but he is 0-4-1 with a 3.02 GAA and .902 save percentage so far this season and consistency has been a major issue since he joined the Maple Leafs.

 

Outlook
Toronto has been a much more competitive team night in and night out under head coach Mike Babcock but their lack of offensive punch up front combined with inconsistent goaltending are the two main reasons they are just 1-5-2 this season. It is only going to get tougher for the Maple Leafs with a tough schedule ahead over the next two weeks beginning with a Rangers team that ranks in the top 10 in goals per game and goals allowed per game. New York has outscored its opponents by an average of 2.8-1.9 so far this season and while everybody knows about Lundqvist’s ability to play at an elite level in goal their scoring depth is still somewhat underrated with a unique blend of veterans and young stars that are on the rise. Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard are constants but rookie Oscar Lindberg and 22-year-old JT Miller currently rank 1-2 on the team in scoring which is a testament to their depth. The Rangers have had plenty of time off to prepare for this game and while that could hurt certain teams that won’t be the case with New York as they remain focused on winning every game and challenging for the best record in the NHL and home ice advantage in the playoffs. If Bernier plays well then Toronto could give the Rangers a decent enough challenge but in the end New York should be able to find a way to win this game on home ice. Take the Rangers with your NHL picks but with the price being too high, lay the puck line here.

NHL Pick: Rangers -1.5 +150 at Heritage

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