That almost ended up like a disaster last night, but it ended up being averted in a crazy finish to the Ducks/Wild game. The Ducks were up 3-0 on the Wild, and considering how the Wild don’t necessarily have a potent offense, it was looking like a sure winning bet. Nothing is a sure thing before the game is over, though, as the Wild stormed back to tie it up 3-3. As is the life of a gambler, my emotions quickly went the other way and it was looking like I was ripping at ticket up. However, the Ducks composed themselves and came through for a 5-4 victory in Minnesota. The win game us a plus money winner and another winning pick to give us a 7-1-1 run in our last nine in the NHL. Stanley Cup teams do not blow 3 goal leads, but they were fortunate to be able to come out with the win. A lot of teams curl up and go into hibernation mode after letting a lead like that slip away. All that matters is we turned in a profit, no matter how it happens, and that is what happened for us last night. Lets look for a repeat in Toronto tonight.
If you were to ask me where the Leafs would be at this point in the season, I would have told you they’d be a few games above .500. I don’t know if that is the most outlandish prediction, because many others would have said the same thing. The Leafs are in fact a few games above .500, entering tonight’s matchup against the Vancouver Canucks with a record of 13-9-3. Pretty much on point to what I thought. Now, did anyone say pre-season that the Canucks would have a record of 18-7-1? I think I hear a few crickets and a tumble-weed passing by. If you did, congrats. I sure didn’t have them playing this good of hockey at this juncture. This is supposed to be re-tooling time for the Canucks, as they look ahead to the future. The Canucks have said screw that and are looking to be a viable team sooner rather than later. This is always a fun one when these two squads get together. We’ll see what is on store for us tonight when the Canucks and Leafs meet at the ACC in downtown Toronto.
Vancouver Canucks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Not only did I think the Leafs would have a record like they do, but they are doing it in a way that has been very predictable. Complete slop on the defensive end and then let the offense pick up the slack occasionally. Either the Leafs or scoring at a rapid pace, or they are letting somebody else light them up line a Christmas tree. It is feast or famine as far as the Leafs are concerned. Take for instance their last three games: 6-2 W, 5-3 W, 5-3 L. That makes for an average of 8 goals. If we widen the picture out a little more, we’ll see it is more of the same. In their last eight games there has been a total of 62 goals scored, which equates to an average of 7.75 goals per game. Overall this season the Leafs are scoring considerably well at 3.36 goals per game, 2nd in the league, trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning. So, then, they are 2nd in scoring, but are only 13-9-3. That means the defense hasn’t been doing their job very effectively, allowing teams to score an average of 3.04 goals.
The Canucks have been scoring the puck this season and it has put them in a good position thus far. At 3.08 goals per game, the Canucks are 6th in the NHL in scoring. Their defense is better than the Leafs with 2.62 goals allowed a game, but they can certainly be beat. That makes Vancouver the 15th best defense in the NHL. Not great, not bad, just good. The Leafs should be able to get to their defense at home. Toronto has eclipsed the total in four straight games. In their last 10 they are 8-2. Look for some offense in this game, and look for the OVER 5.5 to pad the bankroll.
Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-120) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)