Things didn’t go according to play last night in the Predators and Blues game. Nashville played to only its third high scoring game of the season, pushing the total over the 5. I wondered why the UNDER wasn’t juiced a little more than it was, and apparently so, the odds makers had it right. Nonetheless, Predator games will be lower scoring than not the rest of the season. After scoring 4 goals last night, the Blues have seemed to find a groove. They are much healthier than they were near the tail-end of last year and their production on the ice has shown, thus far anyway. Remember they were hot for ¾ of the season and then fell into the abyss for the rest. Injuries played a large part in their insufficiencies, so if they stay healthy they do a little more damage in the playoffs I have to assume. If Vladimir Tarasenko catches fire at the right time there is no telling how far they can go. I’m not one to make predictions in November; we’ll revisit this later in 2015.
Tonight where we turn to Toronto where the Leafs are coming off their biggest win of the season after destroying the Boston Bruins by a score of 6-1. Not only that game, but the Leafs have been hot overall recently. They’re currently on a three game win streak while picking up points in their last four games. In the fourth game ago they lost to the Avalanche in a shootout. Their win against Boston, though, definitely stands out. Phil Kessel got the best of his former team, relying on his signature quick release to snipe 2 beautiful goals. That was an impressive game for the Leafs, but even more impressive would be beating the Penguins in Toronto tonight. It probably will have the people that tossed their jerseys onto the ice thinking twice about that move, if the win against the Bruins didn’t have them feeling that way already. This is vintage Leafs, though. They’ll continue to go through horrendous stretches, and then turn it around winning in impressive fashion only to tease their loyal fan base. As a Leafs fan that has had to go through this pattern for much too long, expects more of the same coming my way.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs
The Pittsburgh Penguins are fresh off their first loss in eight games after being defeated by the New York Rangers, 5-0. A loss was bound to come up for the Pens, and unfortunately for the Leafs, it had to happen just before they were meeting them. To add to it, the Penguins haven’t played since Tuesday night so they should have their legs underneath them and ready to exploit the Leafs. For a mistake prone defense like the Leafs, the Pens should be able to take full advantage. Pittsburgh has done it to pretty much every other defense, before stalling out in their last game. They are still averaging 3.86 goals per game which is tops in the NHL. And before getting shut out in their last game, they were on a run where they scored 4 or more goals in four out of their last five games. After getting blanked against the Rangers, you can betcha that the Pens offense is going to look much better tonight.
The Leafs’ offense has been getting in order during their winning streak. They average 3.31 goals a game, a number that is rising, and have averaged 5.3 in their last three games. Those weren’t against terrible defenses either, especially being able to dismantle Tuukka Rask the way they did. The Leafs are 4-0 to the OVER in their last four games. Additionally, this is a series that sees the OVER cashing in 21-8-1 in their past 30 matchups. I expect the Leafs D to look sloppy against an offensive minded Penguins team. They’ll come out strong on a few nights rest and getting shutout on Monday night. The OVER 5.5 looks like a logical bet here.
Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-126) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)