Usually, the Maple Leafs are a Canadian staple on Saturday nights. Nonetheless, they’ll be in the spotlight on Sunday with just two games on the card. Here’s our picks for both contests:
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Florida Panthers
Odds: Panthers -110
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a relatively quiet week. Their only game on the schedule was at Dallas on Tuesday and they topped the Stars 4-0 in that contest. Other than that, they’ve been able to enjoy a nice, long break. The Panthers have experienced an extended break as well as they have been off since Monday when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3.
The NHL odds have the line at -110 both ways – clearly the odds makers are expecting this to be an even game. Although the Leafs are five points up on the Panthers in the standings, Florida has actually been the better team of late. They’ve won three of four and are actually 8-3-2 in their last 13 games. However, it’s tough to gauge whether to believe in this team or not as each of their last four wins have come via shootout. They’re just getting by with razor-thin margins. Even so, they are 5-0-1 in their last six at home, so that can’t be overlooked.
The Panthers tend to play the Leafs pretty tough as evidenced by the fact that they won three of four against them last season. The 14 goals they scored in those four games were the most they had versus any opponent. Roberto Luongo should be between the pipes for the Panthers and he has an impressive 10-1-0 record against the Maple Leafs in his last 12 starts against them. He has a 2.02 GAA in that span. That being the case, we’ll take a shot with the Panthers in this spot.
NHL Pick: Panthers -110 at Bovada
Vancouver Canucks vs. Anaheim Ducks
Odds: Ducks -130
Like the Panthers and Leafs, the Canucks were also one of the four teams that didn’t play on Saturday night but they might have a small advantage over the Anaheim Ducks, who were in action. Anaheim will be in a back-to-back situation on Sunday after visiting the Arizona Coyotes.
This is a tricky game to handicap as Anaheim should win, but do you want to lay the juice with them? They had won seven of nine entering Saturday’s action and are pretty tough to beat at home (11-3-3). The Canucks have cooled off of late as they’ve won two straight but that came on the heels of a five-game losing streak. While they’re a respectable 11-6-1 on the road, they’ve actually dropped three straight away games while giving up 12 goals in the process.
Anaheim has won six of seven at home with their lone loss being a 4-1 shortcoming against the Chicago Blackhawks. Even though they are in a back-to-back situation and likely without Corey Perry, they’re the NHL pick in this one.
NHL Pick: Ducks -130 at Pinnacle