Underdog Leafs are the right play in Stadium Series game

Dana Lane

Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:45 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018 7:45 PM UTC

Toronto has won 13 of 17 and 6 of 7 playing on more than three days rest. Handicapper Dana Lane says that the Leafs are easily the right side.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3216393, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,180,169,93,19], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NHL Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs +106Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

The Stadium Series games are always special but with today’s game played on a military base it’s gives this one an extra special feel.

The game will be played at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland between the Toronto Maple Leafs (39-20-7, 85 pts, +33) and the Washington Capitals (36-21-7, 79 pts, +7). This is the first NHL game in the state of Maryland since November 26th, 1997 before the Capitals moved to Washington D.C.

Game time scheduled for 8:00 ET/5:00 PT and can be seen on NBC, CBC, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP.

These two teams have played each other 141 times in the regular season with the Capitals getting the better of the series (71-54-16). Of course who can forget their first playoff meeting last year, with each game being decided by one goal? In the end it was the Capitals moving on to the second round in six games.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

His family has a long history in the Navy, so the #StadiumSeries is extra special for @TJOshie77. https://t.co/tvnppzRMkS

— NHL (@NHL) March 2, 2018

Power Ranking: Toronto Maple Leafs #9 Washington Capitals #15

Key Statistic: Toronto 83.6% PK (3rd) Washington Capitals 28.6 Shots per game (31st)

As I mentioned on today’s ‘Ice Guys Show’, neither team has been able to practice on the sheet that they’ll play on yet because of the horrible weather on the East Coast even though they have practiced indoors.

It will be a different feel when they get in the elements starting with the glare from the stadium lights that Frederick Andersen and Braden Holtby will have to get used to quick. Yes, it’s a night game but with the game being lit by lightning meant for football it certainly will create a different atmosphere that both teams will have to become adjusted too. Shadows and depth perception could also play a major role in net-minders seeing the puck clearly. Even if both teams are able to get a morning skate in it will only help in terms of being able to get a feel for the ice.

With that being said I think the elements and ice conditions favor the team with more offensive firepower and that’s the Maple Leafs, even without Auston Mathews. With an average of 32 shots a game but that’s much better than the Capitals who are more of a team of opportunity, ranking last in shots on goal (28.6). In a game like this I want to financially back the team that will get more pucks to the net.

Where has the offense gone for the Capitals anyway?

Alexander Ovechkin is a one man show because he is getting nothing from line mates Tom Wilson or Nicklas Backstrom. In their last 5 games the Wilson, Backstrom combination has only contributed one goal. Second line winger Jakub Vrana has now gone 25 games without a goal and T.J. Oshie has one goal since before Christmas. They simply need more production from guys that are normally reliable and until they do I can’t back the Capitals.

This looks like an easy Toronto winner here.



comment here