With the Anaheim Ducks in town on Monday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to easily exploit the freefalling Ducks. It was a mismatch from the get-go, as the Leafs jumped out to a lead and didn’t look back. When it was all said and done, they were enjoying a 6-1 win. It was another dent on Randy Carlyle’s resume who is on the cusp of getting fired.
That likely should have happened after the embarrassment against the Jets over the weekend, but management seems to be liking this tank. If the objective is to let Carlyle bury the Ducks to the point of having a shot at Jack Hughes in the draft, then they’re doing a pretty good job. The Sens traded their draft pick to the Avalanche in exchange for Matt Duchene, so they flushed that down the toilet.
There was some more good news in Toronto, as Auston Matthews was locked up for five years. Let there be no more debates about whether he is going to accept an offer sheet from the Coyotes. He may end up in Arizona later in his career, but it isn’t going to happen in the next five years.
Next on the docket to sign is Mitch Marner. That will take care of Matthews, Nylander, and Marner. Having said that, there is going to be a window for success in Toronto. A window to go and win the Stanley Cup. Down the road, though, contracts and the salary cap are going to come up again.
There is no denying that getting those contracts settled for the near future is priority number one in Toronto. Two down and one more to go, which I don’t see as being as easy as the Matthews’ deal. Marner is going to have his father talking into his ear the whole time. They welcome the Senators this evening in the Battle of Ontario. Head below for our free Senators vs. Maple Leafs pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
The Maple Leafs didn’t suffer any kind of letdown against the Ducks in that one. That was really going to be the anything between the Leafs and a win. They fortunately did not take the Ducks lightly and pummeled them for a final score of 6-1. With the Senators in Toronto on Wednesday, this is another spot where they could easily take their opponents lightly. The Sens are a 19-28-5 hockey club with 43 points.
They’re currently in the battle for Hughes, as they have taken on a 5-point lead for last place in the NHL. With the Kings playing reasonably well this week, they are starting to leave the Sens behind. Meanwhile, Ottawa are on a four-game losing streak and falling behind quickly while the Kings win.
Ottawa have struggled mightily on the road. They head into Toronto with a putrid record of 7-17-1, and if that isn’t enough, the numbers back up their issues. The Sens have scored an average of only 2.84 goals, while allowing 4.32 goals defensively.
If their defence would step up and help out, then they’d likely be getting average results instead of lacklustre. Their own teammates were laughing in an Uber about how bad their defence is earlier in the season. If their own team doesn’t believe, why would it translate into better results on the ice?
It’s surely not going to help out any. On the other side tonight, there is a Maple Leafs team that is scoring 3.36 goals per game and allowing 2.68 per game at home. Frederik Andersen has held steady in net, with a strong 2.52 GAA and 0.923 save percentage. His numbers improve to a 2.25 GAA and 0.931 save percentage at home. It likely isn’t going to be like the 6-1 win on Monday, but the Leafs should be able to notch a 2 or 3 goal win against the Sens.