Carolina Hurricanes (3-4 SU, 4-3 PL, 4-3-0 O/U) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (7-2 SU, 5-4 PL, 7-2-0 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Thursday, October 26, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario
Lines: Toronto -148/ Carolina +134
Thursday evening NHL action and the Metro Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Carolina Hurricanes duke it out with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Hurricanes enter this game off a 5-1 home loss to Tampa Bay, while the Leafs are off a 3-2 home win over the Kings. Goalie Probables: Scott Darling will start in the crease for the Hurricanes, while the Leafs will be sending out Frederik Andersen.
Canes Can’t Cool Off Hot Lightning
The Carolina Hurricanes are off to a slow 3-4 start to their year, which is not what they were expecting, especially with some of the improvements they made during the offseason. Well, those improvements haven’t really taken hold just yet, especially offense, which has been among the worst in the league. They started out with a nice win over Minnesota, but then lost two, won two and have now lost their last two games after falling by a score of 5-1 at home to the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning. The offense just hasn’t been able to find its footing this year and they were able to muster just the one goal on 32 shot attempts in the loss to the Lightning. Scoring their lone goal was Jacob Slavin, which was his 2nd of the year. Jeff Skinner leads the team in scoring with five goals and no one else has more than two. Last year’s rookie sensation Sebastian Aho had 24 goals but has yet to score this year, while Justin Williams, who had 24 goals last year for the Caps have scored just once so far. Taking the loss against the Bolts was Scott Darling and he is now 2-4 with a 2.64 GAA on the year, including 1-2 with a 2.39 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 21-18 with a 2.63 GAA on the road and 7-7 with a 2.76 GAA during October, while against the Atlantic Division he is 12-6 with a 2.83 GAA, including 3-0 with a 2.29 GAA against the Leafs.
Carolina enters this game ranked 28th in the league in scoring 2.43 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots taken (33.4 spg) and 19th in power play conversions, converting on 16.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit above average so far as they come in ranked 17th in goals allowed, giving up 3.00 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots allowed (29.6 spg) and 18th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.1% of their chances.
Leafs Topple Kings At Home
It was a battle of two of the best records in the league and it was a very good game. The LA Kings are leading the Pacific Division and made the trek north of the border to take on the Maple Leafs who are in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division and it was the Maple Leafs that came out on top in a hard-fought 3-2 win. The Leafs led the whole way, but the Kings did make it tighter with a goal midway through the 3rd period. Frederik Andersen stopped 36 of the 38 shots that he faced to move to 6-2 with a 3.24 GAA on the year, including 3-1 with a 3.96 GAA here at home. Not great GAA numbers, but the offense is the best in the league and has really bailed hit out so far. In his career, he has gone 59-33 with a 2.42 GAA in his home games and 18-15 with a 2.52 GAA during the month of October, while against the Metro Division he has gone 25-12 with a 2.75 GAA, including 3-1 with a 2.76 GAA against the Hurricanes. Scoring for the Maple Leafs in the win was Matt Martin, which was his 1st of the year, Tyler Bozak, which was his 2nd of the year and Patrick Marleau, which was his 4th of the year. Auston Matthews leads the team in scoring with seven goals and points with 12.
Toronto has been very good on offense so far as they come in ranked 1st in the league in scoring at 4.44 gpg, while also ranking 8th in shots taken (34.2 spg) and 4th in power play conversions, converting on 28.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 22nd in goals allowed, giving up 3.33 gpg, while also ranking 18th in shots allowed (32.7 spg) and 9th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 14.7% of their chances.
- The Over is 6-0 in their last six vs. a team with a winning record
- The Over is 4-1 in their last five after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- The Over is 7-1 in their last eight games following a win
- The Over is 10-3 in their last 13 games playing on two days rest
The Toronto Maple Leafs were a surprise team in the postseason last year and they are even better this year, while the Carolina Hurricanes are just looking to get on track. The Leafs have been the best offensive team in the league so far and they have averaged 4.89 gpg here at home, but wee also note that they have allowed 3.80 gpg at home as well. Carolina has not been a very good offensive team in the early going, but they do have some solid offensive players that should do damage against Frederik Andersen, who has a 3.96 GAA here at home for the year. Scott Darling has good career numbers against the Leafs, but I just don’t see him being able to slow down this offense, while the Hurricanes get their own offense in gear against Andersen, so I say “Take The Over Here”.