Leafs & Devils To Meet In A High-Scoring Affair Tonight

Dana Lane

Friday, January 6, 2017 5:31 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 5:31 PM UTC

The Leafs gave up six goals, three in the third period to the Washington Capitals, Tuesday. Can we anticipate another defensive collapse?, Championship Handicapper Dana Lane examines tonight's proper way to play tonight's East Coast match-up.

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The Maple Leafs start their bye week on Sunday so I expect an all out offensive assault before their break tonight versus the NJ Devils.

Toronto has nine players in range of the 20 goal mark led by Auston Mathews who has already reached it. Nazem Kadri is second with 14, James Van Riemsdyk is third with 13, Mitch Marner is fourth with 10, Connor Brown and William Nylander both are also capable of hitting the 20 mark, they both have nine goals.  All three of Toronto's top lines have at least two players who could hit the 20 goal mark.

Point is, that the offensive depth on this team gives my followers piece of mind,  in order to keep the Leafs in check the opposing goaltender must have a big night. 

The Leafs are tied for second in the league averaging 33.6 shots per night.  That leaves us with the question of, do we trust Corey Schneider to have an above average night.  Schneider owns a goals-against average of .908 and a save percentage of 2.74.  Both below standards.

He may be opposed by Frederik Andersen (16-8-7, .920, 2.63 GAA) who's numbers are okay if Toronto decides to give him some defensive support, although we can't count on New Jersey to offer much by the way of consistent offensive pressure. According to GoaliePost, Andersen getting the start is not official yet as there has been some talk that Antione Bibeau will be in net.  The Devils are last in the NHL with only 27.5 shots per game. Bibeau has played in two games this season, allowing two goals in each. Let's anticipate a less than average effort which is typical with a young player after having early success.

Although New Jersey is unreliable to score, its reasonable to anticipate an inspired effort from their top scorer, P.A. Parenteau.

Parenteau was not part of the youth movement in Toronto but spoke very highly of the organization while having arguably his best season as a pro.  I suspect he'll want to show Toronto what they are missing out on.

Remember, the last time these two teams met, the night before Thanksgiving, the Devils gave up three first period goals to ignite a nine-goal game that the Devils came back and won, 5-4, in a shootout.

Let's get on board with the plus money side of this one tonight for our NHL Pick

Free NHL Pick: Over 5.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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