NHL Hockey Betting: Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing excellent hockey of late and are now just two points back of the second place Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs are 6-2-2 in their last ten games but have plenty of pressure from below with Boston just 1 point back and Florida just 3 points back. They’ve got a good chance for a win tonight as they travel to the Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings have essentially been ‘treading water’ all season. They’re 10-10-4 at home this year, 20-19-8 overall and are 4-3-3 in their last ten games. They’re 1 point ahead of Buffalo and Tampa Bay who are tied for last place in the Atlantic Division. That sounds more dire than it really is–they’re just 2 back of fifth place Florida, 4 back of fourth place Boston and 5 back of third place Toronto. Those are definitely not insurmountable margins but they need to start stringing together some wins and generally playing with more consistency.

The Maple Leafs have shown some very impressive growth in their second season under head coach Mike Babcock. They’re 10-6-6- on the road and actually have a positive goal differential which would have been an outlandish thought in years past. Detroit enters this game coming off a game at Boston on Tuesday night. The Wings are just 6-12 -5.4 units against divisional foes (pending the outcome of Tuesday’s game) and the back to back situation will make dealing with the youthful Leafs even more difficult. Goaltending assignments have yet to be confirmed but the expectation is that Toronto will go with Frederik Andersen and Detroit with Petr Mrazek. Anderson has been solid this year with a 20-10-8 record to go with a 2.62 goals against average and a 0.920 save percentage. He’s also got a pair of shutouts. Mrazek is having a down year–he’s got a 10-11-5 record with a 3.13 goals against and a 0.895 save percentage.

Detroit will be playing this game without Dylan Larkin who is sidelined with an upper body injury and he’s the source of much of their offensive punch. For a team that ranks #23 in goals scored per game (2.43) he’ll be missed and the Wings will be hard pressed to match scoring with the Leafs at #6 putting up 3.09 goals per game.