Another tough pill to swallow from last night’s NHL selection as the Anaheim Ducks came within a single goal of winning our pick as the Oilers turned in another solid road effort in Southern California. Edmonton actually had a 1-0 lead heading into the 3rd period and increased the lead to 2-0 early, however the Ducks stormed back and scored three unanswered goals to beat the Oilers by a 3-2 score, but it would not be enough for our pick of Ducks -1.5. Disappointing that the Ducks could not get on the scoresheet prior the the final frame, however that is the way things go sometimes, and we will march forward with tonight’s NHL pick.
Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs
My Pick – OVER 5.5 (+100) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)
The Boston Bruins are the NHL’s hottest team as the Eastern Conference leaders have won 15 of their last 17 games overall, with the only regulation loss coming last night in Detroit as the Red Wings came from behind to knock off the white-hot Bruins by a 3-2 score. For toronto it has been the polar opposite as the Leafs finally snapped an eight game losing streak Tuesday night by knocking off the Calgary Flames at the Air Canada Centre, however this is a team that likely needs at least four wins over their last five games to have any sort of chance at a postseason berth. The Bruins enter action tonight leading the NHL in goals per game on the road with 3.3, and have a 22% powerplay away from home which ranks 7th in the league. For the Leafs their saving grace has been their offense, or more specifically their first line as the trio of James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, and Phil Kessel have carried the Leafs on their backs and have them sitting 8th overall in home offense, tallying 3.2 goals per game at the Air Canada Centre. The problem for the Leafs has been their poor defence, an issue that has plagued the team for several seasons now. Toronto ranks 26th in home defence as they surrender 3.1 goals per game at home this season and they rank dead last in the league in home penalty killing with a 76.2% clip.
The Bruins rank 4th in the NHL in road defence, giving up just 2.5 goals per game away from the TD Garden in Boston. however Toronto proved in last season’s playoffs that they can actually score against this Boston team and has the ability to hang around and compete with the big bad Bruins. In fact, the OVER is 6-3 in the two clubs last nine meetings and is 7-3 over their last ten meetings in Toronto. The OVER is 18-6 over Boston’s last 24 games on the road. The OVER is also 5-2 in Toronto’s last seven games overall and 5-1 in Toronto’s last six games at home. I would take the OVER tonight, keeping in mind the Leafs have a powerful offense as well as a poor defence, which should get us to the total.