We are one night removed from entering the NHL All-Star break. Tonight will be the last scheduled games until next Tuesday. All-Star weekend will begin Saturday with a series of events, and then conclude on Sunday with the All-Star game, which is pitting Team Toews vs. Team Folgino. The format of the game will of course be a fantasy style draft, which leads itself to some intrigue. If you recall they’ve flirted with a variety of different concepts in recent memories, including the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference and North America vs Europe. I personally like this fantasy draft concept, but that is up to personal opinion. In the end all of them are essentially glorified scrimmages that provide plenty of offense with little resistance on the defensive side of things. If you like goals the All-Star game is definitely worth tuning in to watch. I may have a play in that game, so be sure to check the blog on Sunday.
What is left to be said of the Leafs? Things are getting worse before they are getting any better in Toronto. A lot of people thought all they maybe needed was a game on their home ice to find some confidence again. Nope, got drilled by the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-1 at the ACC. Jerseys were tossed on the ice once again and frustration continues to mount amongst the fans of the Leafs and within the organization. It feels so long ago that the Leafs were up 4-1 on the Bruins in the 3rd period of the playoffs. It could be a while before the Leafs are in such a position of success. They really need to re-evaluate a lot of things this offseason. The Battle of Ontario will continue tonight in Ottawa, perhaps instilling some motivation in them for this game.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators
The Senators are coming off a hard loss last night against the Rangers. They now fly back home to get ready to face the hapless Maple Leafs. The Leafs loss last night was their fifth straight and are 1-8 their last nine games. The Leafs have had a brutal stretch of games on the road, but it is no excuse to be losing this way with such little effort. The offense has particularly been atrocious. During this five game losing skid the Leafs have managed to score only 2 goals. The Leafs had an offense that was either 1st or 2nd in the NHL, but since Randy Carlyle has been fired they have looked like they should belong in high school. Toronto has plummeted to 10th in scoring. There is talent there to facilitate offense, but they have been so out of sync that it has been difficult on them.
While inconsistency is a great word to sum the Leafs up, consistent mediocre play is a great way to describe the Senators. They aren’t good and they aren’t bad either. They are just blah. The Senators have flirted around .500 the whole season and continue to be there with a record of 18-18-4-4. The Leafs have fell to .500 themselves after going through these brutal stretch of games. This is one team that the Leafs have had a tremendous history against. It doesn’t matter if it was the Patt Quinn Leaf teams who were actually good, or the average Leafs we’ve seen the past few seasons. They always seem to show up against the Senators regardless. In their last ten games the Leafs have an 8-2 advantage over the Sens. The Leafs have been horrible there is no doubt about that, but there has to be a time they show up to play hockey. I think there is no other team than the Senators that they should do that against. Given their history against Ottawa and the price we are being afforded I like the Leafs. Yes, the Leafs have been bad, but I don’t think the Sens should be -147 favorites over them.
Pick – LEAFS TO WIN +127 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)