NHL Hockey Betting: Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings&h=235&w=320&zc=1

One of only three games on the board for Sunday and the only game involving a Canadian team has the Toronto Maple Leafs making the monotonous drive down to Detroit, Michigan to take on the Red Wings. The Wings desperately need to win to improve their grasp on the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is just 3 points back and they host Detroit on Tuesday night. There’s also several other teams with a realistic chance to catch the Wings should they string some victories together.

The good news for Detroit is that they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at just the right time. The Leafs are more or less ‘tanking’ the rest of the season. Mike Babcock was hired to clean house and rebuild from the ground up and most of this season has been spent shedding the team of veterans with long term contracts. The team is rebuilding with youth which isn’t a bad idea but the problem is that the young players on the roster would be better served playing in the AHL at this stage of their career. Realistically, the Leafs have a team made of of 3rd and 4th line NHLers combined with AHL level prospects. That isn’t a ticket for success in the NHL and particularly late in the season as teams fight for playoff spots.

One of the veterans that was sent packing was starting goaltender James Reimer who was shipped off to San Jose. Reimer’s performance for a bad team was downright remarkable and he’s in a great situation now as a backup for Sharks’ starter Martin Jones. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and has the opportunity to showcase his considerable skills on a playoff level team. That means that Jonathan Bernier takes over the job in Toronto and he’ll get the start here
against erratic Jimmy Howard.

Two glaring statistics in this game. Toronto is 1-19 this year against divisional rivals (-17.8 units) as well as 1-12 (-10.4 units) in back to back situations. In theory, the Wings look like a team to fade as this is something of a ‘must win’ situation but just can’t trust Toronto at any price.


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