NHL Hockey Betting: Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals

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

Only three games on the NHL board for Wednesday with two involving Canadian teams. At the top of the schedule is a game that–on paper at least–is a colossal mismatch. The Toronto Maple Leafs have the worst record in the NHL with just 52 points. Of course, the Leafs *want* it that way as they’re reprising Buffalo’s strategy from last season which involves losing games and hoping for a favorable ping pong ball bounce to give them the first overall pick in the NHL draft. The Sabres lost the top pick to Edmonton (along with Connor McDavid) but picked up the second pick and a very talented player in Jack Eichel. Best case scenario–Toronto gets the first overall pick with which they’ll almost certainly pick forward Auston Matthews.

And in the other corner, we have the Washington Capitals aka the best team in the NHL. Their performance this season has been more that of a force of nature than a hockey team and the Caps enter this contest with a record of 46-12-4. They have a 16 point lead atop the Eastern Conference as Florida and the NY Rangers have been left to scrap for second place. They also have a nine point lead over the co-co-co leaders of in the Western Conference as Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis have 83 points. To underscore the disparity between the teams in this game all you need to do is look at the point totals where the Capitals are 40 points ahead of the last place Leafs.

Toronto does get a minor break as they’ll face Washington’s backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer instead of presumptive Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby. Grubauer is no slouch himself with a 2.11 goals against average and 0.926 save percentage. In theory, this is the type of game where the mighty Caps could come up flat facing an overmatched opponent in the second of back to back games. But Washington is 24-8 against opponents with losing records and 7-3 in the second of back to back games. Washington has won 6 of 8 overall and 4 straight in DC. No interest in laying the -330, however, so we’ll play this one on the puck line mindful of the fact that four of the last five meetings between Toronto and Washington have been decided by two or more goals.


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