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The Toronto Maple Leafs are 3-0-1 in their last five games.
The Boston Bruins have won ten of their last 11 games.
The Bruins are 2-0-1 against the Maple Leafs this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Toronto Maple Leafs
31-12-3 (2nd in Atlantic Division)
60-12-5 (1st in Atlantic Division)
Mitchell Marner (95)
David Pastrnak (103)
Auston Matthews (38)
David Pastrnak (56)
Mitchell Marner (67)
David Pastrnak (47)
Austin Matthews (30)
Matt Gryzelcyk (48)
Auston Matthews (4.43)
Shots (Per Game)
David Pastrnak (4.86)
The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel south of the border to face the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final time this season. The Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 2-1 in their first matchup, but Boston won the next two matchups by scores of 4-3 and 5-2, respectively.
The Maple Leafs are having an excellent regular season and are in second place in the Atlantic Division with 102 points. If they win today and the Tampa Bay Lightning win their next game, they will secure the second-place spot. Conversely, the Bruins are the best team in the NHL ( and have been the best for almost all of the season). Boston has 125 points and secured the top spot in the NHL a couple of weeks ago.
The Maple Leafs have a strong squad and scored four goals in their previous game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is not too uncommon for Toronto, as they average 3.4 goals per game. That puts the Maple Leafs in the top ten. Everyone knows that the Maple Leafs have a high-powered offense, but it is also worth noting that Toronto also has a top-ten defense. They allow 2.73 goals per game and only gave up two goals in their previous game. The Maple Leafs also have a consistent netminder in Ilya Samsonov. Samsonov, a 26-year-old, is not elite, but he is quite reliable.
The Maple Leafs have four offensive studs in Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and John Tavares. These four are all killers with the puck in their hands and have at least 76 points and 28 goals.
Ilya Samsonov will get the start in the net for the Maple Leafs. Samsonov’s 2.41 goals against average is the sixth-lowest in the NHL, and his four shutouts are tied for the fourth-most.
The Bruins are the best team in the NHL, and their numbers indicate that. They have the second-best offense in the NHL and average over 3.7 goals per game. Boston is full of offensive weapons, which has led them to have this electric offense. On the defensive end, the Bruins are the best. They allow a measly 2.12 goals per game. Just for context, the team with the next-best defense, the Carolina Hurricanes, allow 2.57 goals per game. To put it simply, the Bruins are strong in every area.
The Bruins are led by David Pastrnak. Pastrnak has 103 points (56 goals, 47 assists) and has been the Bruins’ x-factor all season long.
Linus Ullmark will likely get the start in the net for the Bruins. Ullmark is the best netminder in the NHL and leads the league in wins (38).
I have to play it safe and recommend betting on the Bruins. The Bruins have a home-ice advantage and have won ten of their last 11 games. Boston will get win #61 today.
The Maple Leafs are the underdogs but can win if they draw penalties and slow down David Pastrnak.
The Maple Leafs have an outstanding power-play unit and convert over 25% of their opportunities. This unit has been vital to their success and will be critical to their success today. Toronto must draw penalties and get this unit on the ice.
As I mentioned above, David Pastrnak is the leader of the Bruins. His numbers are phenomenal, and he must be priority #1 for the Maple Leafs’ defensemen. If Toronto can slow him down, they may have a chance.
The Bruins are the favorites but will improve their chances if they score first and have strong goaltending.
The Bruins have made a habit of scoring first this season. This tactic has been very helpful in getting the Bruins a league-leading 60 wins. Boston must score the first goal in this game as well. If they do, they will greatly improve their chances of winning.
The Bruins average 32.2 shots per game and put 50 shots on the net in their previous game. I do not expect 50 shots again this time around, but I do expect 30. The Bruins must respond to those shots with strong goaltending.
This is a bit of a surprising choice, but I will explain why I chose Morgan Reilly. Reilly is the top defenseman on this Maple Leafs team and must take charge in this matchup. It will be up to him to slow down the likes of David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.
I would rarely choose Hampus Lindholm for this award, but Charlie McAvoy will miss this game with an injury. Lindholm must step up in McAvoy’s absence and lead the Bruins’ defense against the Maple Leafs.
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What - Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins
Where - TD Gardens, Boston, Massachusetts
When - Thursday, April 6, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, 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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