Fresh off an impressive showing in a playoff-style game vs. Washington, the Toronto Maple Leafs will return home on Wednesday night to take on the lowly Buffalo Sabres.
The Leafs will surely be spurred on by the return to maximum capacity in Scotiabank Arena, as all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted from the province of Ontario. And though it’s not like the Leafs need the fan support to get by Buffalo, they certainly deserve it of late. After a bit of a tough stretch of goaltending, the Leafs have turned to Petr Mrazek in goal. The Czech netminder has been steady between the pipes of late, and offers this high-octane group confidence going forward.
Aside from this, the Leafs continue their push up the Atlantic Division standings, and can move past Florida with a win tonight. Currently sitting third, the Buds know all too well the value home ice can play, and will be pushing hard down the stretch. The Leafs will be led by their red-hot top line featuring Michael Bunting, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner. That trio is in elite form, with Matthews again pushing for the Rocket Richard, Bunting the Calder Trophy, and Marner is fresh off of winning the NHL’s 1st Star of the Month for February.
The Sabres meanwhile won’t be in the playoffs this season, but this is a squad that continues to battle and has some nice pieces that can do damage. Big winger Tage Thompson is having a career year, while sniper Jeff Skinner paces the offense for Don Granato’s team. Goaltending remains a sore spot, and after a decent spell of shot generation back in the Fall, Buffalo has dropped to 31st in terms of generating even strength scoring chances. The rebuild rolls on in Western New York.
For the Leafs and head coach Sheldon Keefe, it continues to be all about not getting complacent against a lower-ranked team. The Leafs must continue racking up points to make their post-season push more realistic, and with the Buds entering having lost a couple of late, you better believe this group enters a packed arena on Wednesday a more focused bunch.
For added insight, betting news, trends and analysis – keep on reading beneath the current odds as we look to improve our stellar hockey record with another winning wager. Enjoy the Leafs vs. Sabres analysis, as we watch this Atlantic Division rivalry unfold.
Craig Anderson vs. Petr Mrazek tonight in Toronto. Full barn.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) March 2, 2022
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres Live Odds & Betting History
*These odds are provided by BetOnline.ag
|TEAM DATA||MAPLE LEAFS||SABRES|
|Goals Per Game||3.6||2.6|
|Goals Against Per Game||2.8||3.6|
|Shots On Goal Per Game||34.8||29.7|
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres Prediction:
Though the Leafs seem to be coming out of a bit of a rough stretch, Toronto will need to maintain focus against a Buffalo squad that has given them some difficulty. The Sabres are poised to surprise, led by high-end skill of Alex Tuch and Jeff Skinner, Buffalo’s pacy forwards can cause some trouble to Toronto’s dodgy defense.
That said, the Buds will counter with an impressive array of high-end talent. As mentioned above, their top line continues to terrorize defenses throughout the NHL, and with the benefit of last change tonight, expect Sheldon Keefe to place that top unit against some of Buffalo’s weakened blue-liners.
Toronto continues to set the tone offensively, leading near the top of every offensive category in the NHL. They’re top-5 in shots and expected goals, and continue to generate high-end chances at an impressive rate. Their style and pace of play should overwhelm Buffalo. Add in the fact that the Scotiabank Arena will be a packed house on Wednesday night, and this young and exciting group should be keen to turn in an impressive showing.
While the Sabres can frustrate opposing groups, their recent run of play hasn’t been all that inspiring. Craig Anderson is a washed-up veteran between the pipes, and it’s tough to see Toronto not putting up a big offensive showing. While Ondrej Kase will be out for the Buds, look for youngster Nick Robertson to continue his impressive run of play on the fourth line. It’s hard to imagine Buffalo maintaining a competitive spirit in a game the Leafs should very clearly dominate.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 2, 2022
Maple Leafs vs. Sabres Trends To Know:
- Sabres are 20-42 in their last 62 vs. Atlantic.
- Sabres are 13-38 in their last 51 overall.
- Maple Leafs are 12-3 in their last 15 vs. Atlantic.
- Maple Leafs are 16-5 in their last 21 Wednesday games.
- Over is 3-0-1 in Sabres last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 4-0 in Maple Leafs last 4 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Sabres are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings vs. Toronto.
- Sabres are 7-19 in the last 26 meetings in Toronto.
The trends point to shots, scoring chances, and a pretty one-sided affair for Toronto in this contest. Buffalo doesn’t have the depth in any position to fight back against the Leafs, and with the benefit of last change, look for the Buds to push the pace offensively from start to finish. The Leafs should rack up the offense, and backing them on the puck-line seems to be the value spot for Wednesday night.