The Vegas Golden Knights continue on their long road trip in Toronto tonight. This will be their fifth straight game on the road, after travelling to Brooklyn, NYC, Boston, and Ottawa. They have one win to show for it, a 5-4 win over the Senators on Saturday. The Golden Knights continue to be led by Maxime Lagace in net, who earned his first career NHL win on Saturday.
Due to injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban, and Oscar Dansk, Lagace was thrust into the starting position in net. If you’re going to look at his numbers, it’d indicate he’s having an awful time up in the NHL. However, considering the circumstances, we’re going to have to give him a bit of credit. He’s hanging in there, doing his best at his sudden opportunity in the NHL.
Lagace should be with the AHL Chicago Wolves, but because of unforeseen circumstances he’s up with Vegas. Dansk was playing quite well before he went down, so it was really a blow for him. The same for Subban, who has been waiting for a chance to be the starter. Lagace is in there playing serviceably, but it’s not the most ideal situation for the Golden Knights. The offence has luckily been playing above expectations for Vegas.
We’re waiting for the offence to hit a wall, and keep on playing extremely well. The idea for the Golden Knights was that they’d go into the year and have Fleury steal some games, not win games because of offence. Here they are, though, winning games because of goal scoring. They face an opponent tonight who knows how to score the puck. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Maple Leafs pick.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
The Maple Leafs return home after a four-game road trip. The Leafs should be feeling fortunate to be home, following just one win. The lone win came against the Ducks, while they lost to the Sharks, Kings, and most recently the Blues on Saturday night. Their struggles started in Toronto, where they lost a couple in a row and then continued losing on the road. In their last six games, the Leafs have gone 1-5-0 and 2-7-0 in their last eight. They started off red hot, but have since cooled off. Their start to the season garnered the attention of the odds makers, as they quickly became one of the favourites to win the Stanley Cup.
Back to the present, where the Leafs have slipped to 8-7-0 and haven’t been playing great hockey lately. The Leafs, nevertheless, have a stacked offence led by Auston Matthews. They’re averaging 3.80 goals per game but breakdowns on defence have been costing them dearly. The Leafs are allowing 3.67 goals per game. Statistically, the Golden Knights have looked superb, with an average of 3.62 goals scored per game.
I suspect that Mike Babcock is going to have his team up for this one, though. After a horrid stretch, they’ll enjoy being home and get back on track against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. On their fifth go of it on the road in a row, look for them to play sluggish hockey. Lagace who enters with a 0.856 save percentage, is going to going to get beat up by sharpshooters on the Leafs. Getting a good number on the puck line is attractive in this spot. Big win for Toronto at the ACC.
PICK: MAPLE LEAFS -1.5 (+130)