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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook
|Anaheim Ducks||+1.5||O 5.5 (-115)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-1.5||U 5.5 (-105)|
This game will be a battle of two very similar teams. Both teams have great goalies and are within four points of each other in the standings.
The Anaheim Ducks have not played well since the NHL returned from its postponement. However, they have won their two games by a combined score of 10-4. One of those wins was a 5-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Ducks have arguably a top-10 goaltender in John Gibson, great centers and wingers in Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, and a pretty good squad of defensemen.
On any given day, I would pick the Maple Leafs to be the better team; they have a top-five goalie in Jack Campbell, one of the top centers in Auston Matthews, and an excellent defenseman in Morgan Reilly. However, the Ducks have turned a corner in the last two games, and it looks like they are only getting better from here. That is why I am picking the Ducks to win this game.
Anaheim Ducks beat Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Anaheim Ducks cover, Over 6 goals.
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|Anaheim Ducks||Head-to-Head||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Dallas Eakins||Head Coach||Sheldon Keefe|
|21-16-7 (2nd in Pacific Division)||Standing||25-10-3 (3rd in Atlantic Division)|
|Troy Terry (37)||Points||Auston Matthews (41)|
|Troy Terry (23)||Goals||Auston Matthews (25)|
|Ryan Getzlaf (23)||Assists||Morgan Reilly (28)|
|Adam Henrique (5)||+/-||Morgan Reilly (18)|
|Richard Rakell (2.79)||Shots (Per Game)||Auston Matthews (4.43)|
The Anaheim Ducks are the underdogs, but they are a two-game tear right now. This two-game tear started with a 5-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning and finished with a 5-3 victory on the road against the Boston Bruins. This will be a very challenging game for the Ducks, but they can win if they focus on drawing penalties and limiting the number of Maple Leafs’ shots.
The Ducks have a few scorers who have a knack for putting the puck in the back of the net, but they will likely be facing one of the NHL’s best goalies in this game. Maple Leafs netminder Jack Campbell only gives up 2.24 goals per game and has a .927 save percentage. Since Campbell is so talented, the Ducks will need to draw penalties and have man advantages. If they have a man advantage over the Maple Leafs, they will take more shots and better shots. That will likely lead to more goals.
The Maple Leafs average 33.9 shots per game and 3.37 goals per game. The Ducks have to limit the Maple Leafs shots to limit their scoring. It is just that simple.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are putting together a great season and averaging almost 1.4 points per game. They will face a Ducks team with a lot of momentum tonight, so it will be a very difficult matchup. The Maple Leafs need to focus on drawing penalties and stopping Ryan Getzlaf.
I do not usually say that both teams need to draw penalties to win, but, in this case, it is true. The Maple Leafs have the third-best power-play unit in the league, converting almost 29% of the time. Therefore, they need to draw penalties to give themselves better chances to score. If they draw more penalties than the Ducks, they will probably win.
The Ryan Getzlaf of 2022 is not the Ryan Getzlaf of 2007. He is a little slower and not as efficient. However, he is still good enough to be the Ducks starting center. Getzlaf is a great passer and is coming off a one goal, one assist game against the Boston Bruins. He now has 23 assists and three goals. Since he has momentum from the last game, the Maple Leafs need to watch out for him. He always knows where his teammates are and how to find them with a nice pass.
I am a big believer in momentum, and right now, center Ryan Getzlaf has momentum. After his one goal, one assist a couple of days ago, Getzlaf probably feels good about himself and will have another good game against the Maple Leafs.
Getzlaf is not in the back half of his career and has transitioned into more of a passer. Even though he scored last game and takes a lot of shots, he is not much of a scoring threat. The Bruins defensemen need to get the puck of his hands in the offensive zone, or he might finish the game with a few assists.
Defenseman Morgan Reilly is one of the best players at his position in the NHL. He has 28 assists, five goals, and a +/- of 18. He also is very efficient on the power-play and has ten power-play assists. He is coming off a one goal, one assist game against the New York Islanders.
Reilly has such a positive impact on his team and makes his teammates better. That is what makes him so dangerous. The Ducks need to figure out how to offset Reilly’s impact. If they do, they will probably win the game.
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|Anaheim Ducks vs Toronto Maple Leafs Information|
|What||Anaheim Ducks vs Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Where||Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario|
|When||Wednesday, January 26, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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