The Toronto Maple Leafs are finding out that just inserting an excellent coach into the equation doesn’t result in an instant turnaround. There are other variables in play there. Gee, let me think, maybe there just isn’t any talent in Toronto at the moment? The cupboard is essentially bare for Mike Babcock to work with and the Leafs look like they’re on their way to the first overall pick in the NHL draft. Would throwing the season really be a bad idea for the Leafs? No probably not. Babcock needs talent in there to work with. There isn’t any right now. He knows that, the organization knows that, and the fans know that. I wonder though, if it was a different coach behind the bench if they would be calling for his head. I think, yeah, Babcock is getting a free pass in the Toronto media because he is Babcock. Not to say this is his fault, but the Toronto hockey media can be vicious and have in past years to head coaches that haven’t gotten it done. Whether it was their fault or not. I don’t think that Randy Carlyle is necessarily a bad coach, but he got the ax in Toronto last January.
The Leafs did their best to tank for Connor McDavid, who was genuinely excited about the possibility of going to Toronto. In the end it was the Edmonton Oilers who had the honors of drafting McDavid at 1. The Leafs might be searching out the first pick in the draft once again this season. I do have faith that management will get the Leafs looking up in three years from now. But right now, don’t expect much from this team. The Leafs welcome a team that was on the verge of being great last season and things have come full circle for the Dallas Stars. For a team that was in the top 3 in scoring last season, something was going to give for the Stars. With a 9-2 start to the season, the Stars appear to be the surprise team of 2015-16. It is still early, but they do look really good. They look to avoid a letdown spot in Toronto tonight against the much inferior Toronto Maple Leafs.
Dallas Stars vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
The Leafs have bene trying to find some consistency in net, bouncing between James Reimer and Johnathan Bernier. I don’t believe either goaltender is going to be a part of the Leafs’ resurgence in a few years. They appear in spurts, just recall when Reimer stood on his head to bring the Leafs to the playoffs a couple years back, only to get heart broken by the Bruins in game 7. But neither Reimer nor Bernier are good for long enough. And when they are off, they are completely off. However, the lack of help on defense doesn’t help them much. The Leafs have allowed a high 3.30 goals against per game this season. It appears that Bernier gets the start tonight. He owns a 0-6 record and 3.02 GAA.
The Stars have been potent on offense, same as last year. As much as I don’t like the guy, Tyler Seguin has been an excellent acquisition from the Boston Bruins. Seguin is establishing himself as one of the best players in the NHL. He has 5 goals and 11 assists on the season already. The Stars as a team are scoring 3.64 goals per game for 3rd in the NHL. All they needed is a little defense last season and they’re getting just a little now. They are 15th in the NHL, so not great, but with their offense it is enough to get them over the hump. They had a bottom 5 unit last season. I think the Stars will score on the Leafs with ease, but the price on the Stars looks too fishy for me. Consequently, I am taking a look at the OVER 5.5.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)