NHL Hockey Betting: Colorado Avalanche at Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Hockey Betting:  Colorado Avalanche at Toronto Maple Leafs&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Colorado Avalanche will try to build on a three game winning streak as they head into the Air Canada Centre to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs were expected to struggle in Mike Babcock’s first year at the helm and they’ve done exactly that. Toronto enters this game with a record of 5-9-4 and are coming in off a hard fought 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers that ended their own three game winning streak. Colorado has struggled for much of the season but the Avalanche have won the first three games of this seven game road trip. With Semyon Varlamov injured (after having been ineffective all season long) the Avs have turned to Reto Berra in goal and he’s responded, allowing only 3 goals in his last three starts. Colorado has plenty of injuries but are finally starting to show the toughness and character that you’d expect from a Patrick Roy coached team.

Toronto will return to James Reimer in net tonight after going with Jonathan Bernier in their last game. Bernier played reasonably well against a tough opponent (the NY Rangers) but is still winless on the campaign. Reimer has been in net for all of the Leafs’ recent success and has emerged as the team’s top goaltender. Bernier needs to find some form or he could be out as the Toronto backup sooner rather than later. The Leafs don’t look like much statistically–they’re a bottom ten team offensively and defensively but the important thing now is that they’re ‘finding ways to win’. They’ve beaten the Western Conference’s top team–the Dallas Stars–twice this season and have been competitive against other losing teams (2-2).

Colorado is still a huge question mark. They’ve got plenty of talent but they’ve also got plenty of injuries and not much time to find traction in the ruggedly tough Central Division. They’ve been off since Saturday when they ripped the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 at the Bell Centre. We like this team when they’re playing well and expect them to run off a few more wins during this road trip. Toronto just doesn’t have the talent to match up effectively.


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