NHL Hockey Betting: Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers

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

Despite the fact that this matchup involves two teams at the bottom of the NHL table this should be a very entertaining game as the Toronto Maple Leafs head West to take on the Edmonton Oilers at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Leafs have lost 6 of 8 and 7 of 11 but that’s not a surprise. The team is not only in the first year of the Mike Babcock regime but are trying to clear their books of high dollar contracts. They sent Phil Kessell to Pittsburgh before the season began and earlier this week got rid of Dion Phaneuf’s long term deal in a 9 player deal with Ottawa. Depending on how the rest of the season works out the Leafs could have two first round picks among a total of eleven. Until then? As one Toronto area writer put it ‘they’re this year’s Buffalo Sabres’.

Edmonton is already past that point but are clearly still a work in progress. That being said, they’re going to rebuild around Connor McDavid who despite his injury has shown that he’s not only as good as expected but might actually be better. McDavid still needs to improve his play in his own end but he’s getting better without the puck (witness the two goals he set up for Taylor Hall in the Oilers’ 7-2 rout of the Senators on February 4). His offensive talent, playmaking ability and ice vision are already ridiculous for any NHL player and let alone one just past his 18th birthday.

The bad news for Edmonton is the rest of their offense has been inconsistent and their defense and goaltending has been horrible. Darnell Nurse will be a solid NHL defenseman but they desperately need to rebuild the entire blueline corps and upgrade their goaltending. But this looks like a spot for Edmonton to bounce back–the Leafs have a ridiculous number of injuries and will be without Nazem Kadri, Jared Cowen, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul among others. The Oilers are 8-3 this season after three or more losses and have a winning record at home (14-10-1). After three awful games on the road look for the Oilers’ talented playmakers to make this a rout.


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