NHL Picks: Side with Maple Leafs in a Low Scoring Clash vs. Red Wings

David Lawrence

Friday, October 9, 2015 2:46 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 2:46 PM GMT

The Toronto Maple Leafs nearly upset the Montreal Canadiens. Now they have the chance to get him his first win with the club against his former team. Check our NHL pick inside. 

Momentum
The Maple Leafs will take some momentum from a game against Montreal in which they outshot the Canadiens 37-30 but couldn’t find a way to solve the reigning Vezina and Hart trophy winner Carey Price. Toronto doesn’t have the same talent up front after shipping out Phil Kessel and they certainly felt it against Montreal, but they are committed to playing with intensity and buying in to Babcock’s system and as long as they do that they should be able to avoid the type of embarrassing losses they were the victims of so often last season.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings will be eager to feed off the energy of the crowd in their home opener as they look to get new head coach Jeff Blashill a win in his first game behind the bench. Detroit has a wealth of star scoring talent up front and if they find a way to generate some momentum with some scoring early on then this game could open up in a hurry.

 

Projected Starting Goalies
Toronto will go back to Jonathan Bernier after he looked pretty good in their opener with the exception of the first goal he gave up to Montreal’s Max Pacioretty, with James Reimer already confirmed to start Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

Detroit is in a similar situation with back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, and will have Jimmy Howard between the pipes against the Maple Leafs with Petr Mrazek set to start the following night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Maple Leafs gave Montreal all that it could handle before giving up a late goal followed by an empty-netter in the 3-1 loss but the reality is that their effort was the biggest factor in them keeping that game close and they still couldn’t find a way to get the win. Toronto will have a tough time matching that intensity two nights later against a Detroit side that should be buzzing for its home opener, and that could mean the talent disparity between those two sides is amplified even more. The Red Wings have an absolutely loaded cast of scorers led by Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist and they have the potential to really make this gam get out of hand if they find the back of the net more than once early on. The Maple Leafs probably won’t let that happen in Babcock’s return to Detroit, but it’s hard to envision a scenario in which they actually find a way to win this game. Even so, with the NHL odds so high on the Red Wings, avoid the juice here. Take the under with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Under 5 (+125) at 5Dimes

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