The Maple Leafs host the Bruins on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the opening face-off slated for 7:05 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds the Bruins are a -160 money line road favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Boston has defeated Toronto in 36 of their last 53 meetings, including 7 of the last 9 played at the Air Canada Centre. These teams have seen just 6 of their last 23 meetings stay under the total, including 7 of the last 9 at Toronto. Boston has clinched the Atlantic Division, and is 1st overall in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is 5th in the Atlantic, and 9th overall in the East.
Toronto was able to snap a prolonged 8-game losing streak at home on Tuesday by defeating the Calgary Flames 3-2. Despite the recent struggles, they're just 1-point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot. The bad news is that Columbus has 2-games in hand, so the Leafs not only need to win, but they will need help from other teams in order to make the playoffs. Toronto has gone a dismal 0-7 against the money line in their last 7-games versus Eastern Conference opponents. The Leafs have gone under the total just 13 times in their last 52 games versus teams from the Atlantic Division.
The Boston Bruins entered last night’s game at Detroit having won 3 in a row, and 15 of the last 16. However, the Red Wings were able to overcome a 2-1 deficit in the 3rd period, and knock off the Bruins 3-2. Although Boston will be playing with no rest this evening, they’re a terrific 40-16 versus the money line in their last 56-games in that role. In all likelihood, we’ll see backup goalie Chad Johnson in net for the Bruins considering Tuukka Rask was between the pipes on Wednesday at Detroit. Johnson has been more than adequate when called upon. The 27-year old backup is 17-4 versus the money line in 21 starts, with a very good 2.04 GAA, and an excellent .926 save percentage. Johnson is 6-0 in his last 6 starts with a brilliant 1.33 GAA, and an outstanding .951 save percentage.
Any home team versus an opponent that’s won 8 or more of their last 10-games, and that opponent will be playing their 4th road game in the last 7-days, has gone 28-11 (71.8%) against the money line during the last 5 seasons. Readers should back Maple Leafs over Bruins for NHL picks.
Hockey Pick: Toronto +140 over Boston