Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators - Predictions and Odds

How to Watch

Where: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When: Wednesday, October 2, 7PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TVA, Sportsnet | FAN590

Ottawa Senators (Away)

Head Coach: D.J. Smith{All-Time 0-0-0}

After an abysmal 2018-19 season that saw the Ottawa Senators finish dead last in the league, the offseason and preseason games showed some positives for the Ottawa Senators. Don’t get us wrong, oddsmakers still have the Senators predicted to finish last in the NHL once again but there are signs that that might not be the case within the next couple of seasons. After hiring a new head coach in D.J. Smith (a former assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs), the Senators moved forward with a roster full of youth which shows signs that the rebuild phase of the team is coming to an end and that all the team needs is the time and patience required to develop a chemistry on-ice. Although almost every offensive threat the team had left was traded away during last year’s trade deadline, there is still some talent to be had. Bobby Ryan still remains and Anthony Duclair will begin his first full season with the team. Artem Anisimov also joined the team and Brady Tkachuk enters his sophomore year after an impressive rookie season. Young prospect Drake Batherson also made the cut and will begin the season at the NHL level and center Colin White signed an extension with the team. The Sens finished the preseason with a positive record of 3-2-1.

 

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On the backend, the biggest thing to look for is the rise of Thomas Chabot. The young defenseman officially became the new cornerstone of the team as he signed a new deal this offseason for the maximum eight-years. The new deal makes him the highest-paid player for Ottawa and all signs show that he’s worth the money. It’s clear that the Ottawa brass hopes he can fill the gap left by Erik Karlsson. The team also acquired Nikita Zaitsev from the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason and added veteran d-man Ron Hainsey.

Goaltending will be the most notable achilles heel for the Sens. Although the team will show signs of struggle at both ends of the ice, a consistently inconsistent Craig Anderson is still set to take the starting position with journeyman goaltender Anders Nilsson serving as his backup. Last season Craig Anderson finished with a record of 17-27-4, a goals against average of 3.51 and a save percentage of .903. Anders Nilsson finished with a record of 11-11-0 with the Sens, a GAA of 2.90 and a save percentage of .914.

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Toronto Maple Leafs (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Babcock{All-Time 691-408-19-160 TOR, DET, MDA}

The Toronto Maple Leafs once again succumbed to the Boston Bruins in the first-round of the playoffs last season but that hasn’t deterred fans, pundits, or oddsmakers from putting them at the front of the pack when it comes to odds-on favorites. The team returns to the ice with their core offense that includes Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and the recently resigned Mitch Marner. The Leafs finished the preseason with a record of 5-3-0 and seem to have their roster set heading into the new season. Former Toronto rival Jason Spezza excitedly joined the team, signing a one-year, $800,000 deal. Andreas Johnsson also looks to improve his game over his sophomore season after posting very respectable numbers in his rookie season on a team where he was clearly overshadowed. The offensive weakness for the Leafs in this game, and this season, is essentially depth. While the top-six forwards are all elite, the bottom-six could be what holds the team back.

The Leafs’ defensive choices were hit and miss this offseason but, if pressed, one would say they just barely came out on top. The team lost Jake Gardiner to the Carolina Hurricanes but were able to acquire Tyson Barrie from the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Nazem Kadri trade. Barrie’s style of play lends itself very well to that of the Maple Leafs. Morgan Reilly is still a mainstay for Toronto and Jake Muzzin will definitely be given a bigger role for the Leafs this season. The team also acquired former Ottawa Senator Cody Ceci as part of a trade this past offseason.

 

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Like the Sens, goaltending will be interesting for the Leafs this season. Frederik Andersen is definitely a more reliable ‘tender than those on Ottawa but can the Leafs afford to play him as many games this season as they’ve done in the past? Anderson has hit (and twice surpassed) the 60-game mark for all three of his seasons with the Leafs and no goalie in the league has played more minutes than he has since joining the club. How many games is too many? The Leafs made a good pickup this offseason, acquiring Michael Hutchinson from the Winnipeg Jets, but will the coaching staff be confident enough to let Andersen take the rest periods that any NHL goalie needs? Time will tell.

The big question is if this is the Leafs’ final chance at a Cup with this roster. The team has over $33-million committed to just three players and some believe that something has to break by the end of the 2020 year.

The last time these two teams faced off in the regular season was back on March 30. The Ottawa Senators came out victorious with a score of 4-2.

What’s at Stake?

It’s the first game of the season, so not much. This game will be a small gauge for what the Senators could become. Should this new, young squad hold their own against the Leafs, even in a losing effort, Ottawa fans may be able to breath a small sigh of relief. The Toronto Maple Leafs are already an established team and are within the top-five teams selected by oddsmakers to win the Stanley Cup this season. As always with these season openers between the two, the only thing at stake is bragging rights as the Battle of Ontario enters a new era.

Be sure to also check out our detailed article on the 2020 Stanley Cup Favorites!

Questions to Answer

Can the youth of Ottawa’s new roster compete with the more established youth of Toronto’s team? Can Brady Tkachuk compete with the likes of Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner?

Entering his 18th NHL season, can Craig Anderson still hold his own? He’s still capable of stealing a game or two for the team but can he find any sort of consistency this season?

Simply, how will rookie head coach D.J. Smith prepare his roster to go up against his former team and the players who helped develop? Will we see any strategical similarities between the two clubs?

Ottawa Senators Injury Report

F Ryan Callahan – IR (Back)

F Rudolfs Balcers – IR (lower-body)

D Christian Wolanin – IR (shoulder)

Toronto Maple Leafs Injury Report

F Zach Hyman – DL (knee)

D Travis Dermott – DL (shoulder)

F Mason Marchment – IR (undisclosed)

F Kalle Kossila – IR (undisclosed)

Current Odds Listed for Maple Leafs vs Senators

Check out the latest odds here, provided by New Jersey sportsbooks: 888Sport, Unibet and Draftkings.

Money Line:

SportsbookOTT SenatorsTOR Maple Leafs
888Sport NJ+235-305
DraftKings+240-295
Unibet NJ+235-305

Puck Line:

SportsbookOTT Senators +1.5TOR Maple Leafs -1.5
888Sport NJ-107-114
DraftKings-107-114

Total Goals:

SportsbookOver 6.5Under 6.5
888Sport NJ-105-117
DraftKings-105-117

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