The Maple Leafs have not been pulling away from teams as easily as many had thought to begin the season. Their offense, however, has been extremely successful. Toronto has been able to score thirteen goals in the first three games. Toronto’s defense has allowed thirteen goals as well. The Maple Leafs will look to clean up their game a bit against Dallas on Tuesday night.
Dallas has jumped out to a quick 2-0 start to begin their 2018 campaign. The Stars have built what looks to be a good team but has underperformed over the last couple seasons. Dallas is looking to erase last season’s disappointment when they missed the playoffs. A win against Toronto on Tuesday night would really be a big confidence boost.
The Maple Leafs are coming off a high scoring shootout against the Blackhawks in Chicago. Toronto ended up taking it 7-6 in overtime. Their stars were out that night as Tavares scored a hat trick and Matthews added two goals of his own.
Dallas is coming off a 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets. The Stars top line was unstoppable as they had all five of their goals. Tyler Seguin had two goals and two assists, Jamie Benn had two goals and one assist, Alexander Radulov had a goal and two assists. Dallas’ top line will look to go toe to toe with the Maple Leafs high powered offense on Tuesday night.
Last Season’s Meetings
The first meeting between Dallas and Toronto last season was in Dallas. The Maple Leafs took control of that game and won 4-1. Jake Gardiner led the game in points with three, while Nazem Kadri had two goals. Seguin added the lone goal for Dallas.
The second meeting between these two teams last season was much closer. Toronto ended up taking the game 6-5 in a shootout. Tyler Seguin again found success with a goal and an assist. James van Riemsdyk scored a hat trick for the Maple Leafs.
While Toronto was the more dominant team last season, Dallas’ quick start could fuel a possible win. The Maple Leafs will look to fix up their defense to avoid allowing another high scoring night against them. I believe it could be a real close game.
Offense vs Offense
The Stars top line of Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin has been great to begin the season. All three players have two goals, while Benn has added three assists and Seguin and Radulov added two assists. All three players were top three on the Stars in points last season.
While Toronto has a great top line, the Maple Leafs offense is even better. Auston Matthews has five goals and three assists to begin the season, while John Tavares has four goals. Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau all have four or more points. In total eleven players have points on Toronto have points.
I believe the edge on offense belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their offense can beat you in so many different ways. Dallas’ offense could have a real successful game though, especially the way Toronto’s defense has been performing. This could turn into an offensive battle early if the Maple Leafs don’t make any adjustments.
Ben Bishop will likely get the start on Tuesday night. Bishop has been on a role to begin the season. He has posted a .984 save percentage and a GAA of 0.50. He has been almost unbeatable in the first two games. Last season, Bishop posted a save percentage of .916 and a 2.49 GAA.
Frederick Andersen has not had the best beginning to this season. In two games, he has a .898 save percentage and a 3.06 GAA. He will look to change this around against the Stars. Andersen posted a save percentage of .918 and a GAA of 2.81 last season.
While these two goalies are off to opposite starts, eventually they will begin to even out. I believe that transition will start on Tuesday night. Bishop is playing an extremely lethal offense, which could score on you in just about every way. The Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is not happy with the way his defense has been playing and will make necessary adjustments to turn it around.
I believe Toronto will begin to even out their play on Tuesday night against Dallas. The Stars have a really good roster and the Maple Leafs cannot get away with making as many mistakes against them if they want to win on the road. If Toronto can play better defense with less mistakes in their own zone, this team will become extremely difficult to beat.
BetOnline has Toronto listed as a +104, which is the first time they are underdogs this season. I believe that you should capitalize on this. The Maple Leafs defense is going to show up eventually and I think it should come against the Stars. If so, I believe Toronto is able to pull off the road upset.