The Toronto Maple Leafs tried their best to take the Montreal Canadiens down but came up short. Despite outshooting the Canadiens by a margin of 52 to 27, the Habs were able to secure the 5-3 win and move to 9-0-0 this season. Losing those kind of games is tough, but the Leafs showed plenty of fight and didn’t lay down against the superior Canadiens. They have been in games all season long and have played competitive hockey throughout. However, they don’t have the record to show for it. With a mark of only 1-4-0-2, Mike Babcock knows there is a long rebuilding process ahead of him. There just isn’t much goal scoring on the team for them to have a playoff team. You can’t really fault the Leafs or Mike Babcock for the 1-4 record. When they do get talent in there they should be fine. But with what they have to work with right now, I don’t know if there is any blame to go around. For now, if this is two years from now and the Leafs are still struggling, then yeah, I am going to start to get worried about them. They face the Arizona Coyotes tonight.
The Phoenix Coyotes, the Arizona Coyotes whatever you want to call them, have their fourth straight game on the road against the Leafs tonight. They are fresh off a 1-4 against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night. The win gave the Yotes a 4-3-0 start to 2015. They started off in nice form, with three wins to open the season against three pretty good teams: Kings, Penguins, and the Ducks. It was short lived though because they ended up losing their next four games before beating the Sens Saturday night. They face the other team in Ontario tonight at the ACC in downtown Toronto. All teams have these long road trips, it’s just the Coyotes were dealt it early in the season. They’ll look to bounce both Ontario teams in a row with a victory tonight.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
It wasn’t the best start for Jonathan Bernier on Saturday, allowing 5 goals on 27 shots. By the looks of it the Leafs are going to go back to Bernier tonight again to try and get a big response outing from him. He hasn’t won a game yet this season and has a poor 3.02 GAA. However, statistically speaking, it looks like the Leas are making a smart move by starting Bernier. Bernier owns an impressive 1.58 GAA against the Coyotes. On 166 shots he has let in just 7 goals. He also has a 3-1 record against the Coyotes. If Reimer goes, he has a 2.63 GAA against the Yotes.
The numbers don’t look pretty for the Leafs at all, giving up an average of 3.14 goals per game, while scoring only 2.29 goals. But as the season progresses I am sure the goals for will improve. Substantially? No I don’t see that happening, but they will find the back of the net sooner or later. Note that the Leafs are actually averaging 34 shots per game. So the 2.29 goals isn’t indicative of the effort they have been putting in. After four straight games on the road, I think some tired legs are going to catch up to them. This looks like a good spot for the Leafs to get their second win of the season against the Coyotes. I wouldn’t go crazy on this play or anything, but for Monday night it looks like the best bet to me in the NHL.
PICK: MAPLE LEAFS TO WIN -110