NHL Money Lines: Toronto vs New Jersey Devils
Coming off what was arguably their most impressive win of the season, as they came back to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime, the Toronto Maple Leafs will try and continue their hot start against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils slapped around the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, winning 6-2 on the road. They opened their season with a 4-1 win at home against the Colorado Avalanche and will enter Wednesday’s game unbeaten on the season. Last season the Leafs and Devils played three times, with the lone matchup in Toronto ending 4-2 in favour of the Leafs. Overall, the Toronto Maples Leafs went 2-0-1 against the Devil last season.
Both offences are on a roll to start the season. The Leafs are leading the NHL with 6.33 goals per game. New Jersey is not all that far behind, netting an average of 5.00 goals per game through their first two. The goaltending edge currently leans statistically in favour of the New Jersey Devils. However, the Maple Leafs have played a tougher schedule to start the season.
The New Jersey Devils have been much stingier on defence, allowing just 1.50 goals per game, third best in the league, compared to the Leafs who let in an average of 3.33 per game or 17th in the league as of Tuesday afternoon. The New Jersey Devils have started Cory Schneider for both their games this season, while the Toronto Maple Leafs have only used Frederick Andersen through the first three games. This is not unusual to start the season as both goaltenders have proven they can carry a full season’s worth of minutes.
Even with better goaltending, the edge in this game goes to the Maple Leafs. The Devils were the worst team in the Eastern Conference last season, finishing with just 68 points and a 12-23-6 record on the road. Consider the Leafs on the puck line if it is around +150 or better, otherwise, if the line shifted the other direction, best to bet the moneyline on the Maple Leafs.
Since both teams currently rank in the top five for goals scored per game, offence is to be expected on Wednesday night. The Toronto Maple Leafs have such a great young nucleus, it would seem that if one struggles the rest can pick up the slack. Obviously, the Leafs can score 500 goals this season, which is what they are on pace for and 220 more than any team scored last season. They can, however, continue their hot start against New Jersey.
New Jersey has been impressive on offence as well, averaging five goals in their first two games. The best story for the Devils has been rookie Jesper Bratt. Bratt has five points in his first two games, including two shorthanded points. Bratt is the kind of two-way playmaker the Devils desperately need to revitalize their offence. With Bratt, a healthy Taylor Hall and the top overall pick in last year’s draft – Nico Hischier – the Devils are starting to trend upward. For as long as the Devils and Leafs top players remain hot, betting the over is the best option.
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