Money Line: -192.00 Chicago (Home)
The Toronto Maple Leafs were on a roll, winning six consecutive games but defensive issues have led to 11 conceded goals over back-to-back losses. The Chicago Blackhawks are coming off a loss as well, despite having their #1 netminder back between the pipes. I except the home team to be the one bouncing back with a win tonight.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. The Maple Leafs Gameplan - The Leafs finished the 2013/2014 season ranked near the bottom of the league with their 3.07 goals allowed per game. It's almost like they've embraced their leaking defense and instead of plugging it they've decided to simply go out and outscore their opponents. It's been a fairly successful strategy with no other team scoring more goals than the Leafs this season, but we can once again find them near the bottom of the league for goals allowed. Wether that will be a successful strategy against a solid Blackhawks team is another question ...
2. Road Woes - The Blackhawks have dismissed the Maple Leafs over four straight meetings in Chicago, and the Maple Leafs have only won five of their last 18 on the road overall.
3. X-Factor - Only three teams in the NHL are allowing more shots on goal per game than the Maple Leafs and their 34.1. They've been giving up close to 40 shots per game over their last four and Chicago fired 47 shots the first meeting this season.
Selection: This is a play on the Chicago Blackhawks (Free)