Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes NHL Pick – December 11th

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<p>The Toronto Maple Leafs hit the road in search of their first win with William Nylander on the ice. Nylander made his much anticipated return to the ice after sitting out near half of the season. It was an extended offseason for Nylander, who is trying to shake off the cobwebs and get back into hockey form. He’s in shape, but he still needs to get back into hockey shape. Nylander hasn’t made any impact yet, though don’t write him off as I believe it’s just a matter of time before he finds the back of the net and gets going. </p>
<p>Will it happen tonight? I can’t guarantee that. There are enough scam services out there if you want to hear the word guarantee. Maple Leafs’ fans like to overreact to everything. Mind you, that’s most sports fans with everything, but it always feels like Toronto fans are always louder. They haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, so there is bound to be frustration around a team with as much potential as the 2018-19 Leafs have. </p>
<p>Despite losing their last two games, the Maple Leafs are sitting pretty with a record of 20-9-1. That’s good for 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 41 points. The Sabres are behind the Leafs with 38 points, as they’ve been showing signs of slowing down after ringing up ten straight wins. This is the second trip to Raleigh for the Leafs. </p>
<p>Their first didn’t go so favourably with a 5-2 loss on November 21st. John Tavares and Kasperi Kapanen both netted goals, but it clearly wasn’t enough. The Canes peppered Frederik Andersen with 43 shots in their winning effort. Carolina enter Tuesday night at 13-11-4, which is pretty well where you would expect the Hurricanes to be at this moment. We’ll see if they can knock off the Leafs for the second time this season. Head below for our free Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes pick. </p>
<h2 class=Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick

Mike Babcock is looking for the right fix right now with Nylander back on the ice. It’s not a bad problem to have if you’re the Maple Leafs. There is a lot of talent on the roster, they just have to establish what lines work best together. Chemistry will be an issue in the immediate, but that all should ultimately work out. The question is whether they will look the part tonight.

Coming into tonight, the Leafs dropped a 5-4 decision to the Red Wings in a shootout and then were tripped up by the Bruins in Boston by a score of 6-3. The most discouraging results of those games was the defensive effort by the Leafs.

The Wings and Bruins do not have elite offences, so it wasn’t the best look for a Toronto defensive unit who have been decent. At the least, they’ve been much better than people expected. The Leafs are 9th in the NHL with 2.8 goals allowed per game. Again, better than the doomsday scenario people were talking about in the offseason.

The goals will be there for Toronto, there isn’t much debating that aspect of this team. They trail the Lightning in that department, but are 2nd in the league with 3.63 goals per game. The road hasn’t scared them much, as that number increases to 4.07 goals per game when they are playing away from Scotiabank.

The Hurricanes have scored an average of 2.86 goals per in Raleigh. They will likely come at Andersen, though, as the Canes have hit the net on average 38.7 times per game. It hasn’t translated into goals, though, as overall on the season they are 29th with just 2.5 goals per game. I’m on the Maple Leafs snap out of it and get their first win with Nylander in the lineup.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.