The 25-17-3 Maple Leafs and 20-16-5 Flyers meet in Philadelphia for a Thursday night showdown. The Leafs and Flyers had some epic battles in the 2000’s. A pretty good rivalry morphed in the playoffs, which included Mats Sundin, Tie Domi, Curtis Joseph, and Eric Lindros. Toronto came close to breaking through, but ultimately came up short, and the next era in franchise history wasn’t the best. Lindros, in fitting fashion against the Leafs, is having his number retired before the game tonight.
They went through different coaches, personnel and nothing really worked out for them. Sick of getting no where, the Maple Leafs opened up the wallet and paid for Mike Babcock to come to Toronto. Since his arrival, it’s clear that the Maple Leafs are a better team. Not only are they more talented, but they’re taken more seriously in the hockey community. The used to be a laughing stock and everyone got a good kick out of joking with Leafs’ fans. However, you can’t really knock this team.
The fact that their odds have them as a Stanley Cup favourite are outlandish, though. Money has poured in from Maple Leaf fans who feel this is finally the year. Maybe it is, but I’m leaning with they’re still one or two years off. There is talent, young talent. They pushed the Capitals to the brink of elimination in the playoffs a year ago. It got to a 7th game, but Washington narrowly got by.
The Maple Leafs are hoping for some more progress in the playoffs this year. With their offence, and a hot Frederik Andersen in net, they’d do some damage. The big question mark is how their defence will hold up. Not so much Andersen, he’s saved the team on a few occasions, and his numbers are more so indicative of the defence in front of him, rather than his play. The Leafs enter with three losses in a row, and the Flyers are coming off a loss, but it was their first in five attempts. Get our free Maple Leafs vs. Flyers pick below.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
The Leafs topped the Sharks and Canucks after losing three straight. They’re right back to where they were, though, as they’ve dropped another three in a row after defeating the Sharks and Jackets. The losses came against the Blue Jackets, Senators, and Blues. Losing to the Sens, considering the shape they’re in, definitely isn’t the best look for the Leafs. They scored just 6 goals, as they hope to find some better traction in Philadelphia. The Flyers beat the Leafs in their last two meetings, both by a score of 4-2. The last three games went 4-2, with Toronto winning three meetings ago.
The Maple Leafs had a stretch where they were playing solid defence. However, they’ve been reverting to their bad ways in that respect. They’ve allowed 3.1 goals per game in their last ten games. Before they get it figured out on a consistent basis, I can’t see them being serious threats in the playoffs. It’s plausible that Andersen gets hot, like I noted earlier, but they haven’t shown the ability on defence to help him out consistently. The Flyers have allowed 3.2 goals per game in their last ten, but have also scored 3.3 goals per game. They’ve gone 6-2 to the OVER in their last eight, and six of their last seven meetings with the Leafs has seen more than 5 goals. I’d take a look at a play on the OVER in Philadelphia between the Maple Leafs and Flyers tonight.
PICK: OVER 5.5 (-110)