NHL Hockey Betting: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs

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

A few weeks ago this game would have been a mismatch. The Boston Bruins have been excellent on the road all season long (23-11-3) but they enter this game in miserable form having lost 5 straight and just 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. Toronto must have missed the part where they’re supposed to be ‘tanking games’ to get the top draft pick–the Leafs are 6-3-1 in their last ten and have won three straight, most recently a 6-5 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Boston needs this win more–they’re in third place in the Atlantic division and slipping further away from the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning who are tied for first place. The Bruins are now five points back and lead the fourth place Detroit Red Wings by one point.

It’s not really clear what has gotten into the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are supposed to be going down quietly in the last few games of the season and hoping to get the ‘lottery ball’ that eluded the Buffalo Sabres last year. That’ll let them choose Auston Matthews, a franchise forward (though admittedly Buffalo did pretty well at #2 selecting Jack Eichel) but they’re now at risk at pulling out of last place in the NHL. Toronto has also won six of their last eight and that’s not supposed to happen to a team that has shipped every veteran player (and their contracts) elsewhere in hopes of shedding payroll so the *real* rebuild can begin.

Boston has won three of the four head to head meetings this season though the Leafs took the most recent winning 4-3 at the TD Garden on February 2. The Leafs also have a laundry list of injuries and will be without Leo Komarov an Nikita Soshinikov here. But they’ve had the lineup gutted with injuries since the first of March and they’re 6-6 this month. The Leafs’ record against divisional rivals is ugly (4-20) but it wasn’t that long ago that they were 1-19 against Atlantic Division rivals. The Leafs have been playing hard and not worrying about how their roster stacks up against the other teams in the league. If they do that tonight there’s no reason they can’t beat this flatlining Boston team.


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