NHL Preview: Atlanta Thrashers at Toronto Maple Leafs Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Tuesday, 23 October 2007 04:05
NHL Headline News

Goals aplenty in Toronto?

If the early part of this season is any indication, Tuesday night's matchup between the Atlanta Thrashers and Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre should be a high-scoring affair.

Toronto has allowed a league-worst 37 goals this season while Atlanta and Los Angeles are next on that list with 36 apiece.

Poor goaltending is only one part of the problem for the Maple Leafs (3-4-2) and Thrashers (1-7-0).

Toronto acquired Vesa Toskala from San Jose in the offseason to hopefully take control of the starting job.

Toskala, though, is 2-3-0 with an ugly 3.99 goals-against average, which ranks among the league's worst. Andrew Raycroft, the starter most of last season, has been slightly better, going 1-1-2 with a 3.64 GAA.

The Maple Leafs' porous defense was exposed again on Saturday as they squandered a two-goal lead in the third period and lost 6-4 to visiting Chicago. It was the fifth time this season that Toronto entered the third period either leading or tied and failed to come away with a win.

Captain Mats Sundin had two goals for the Leafs, who have been outscored 16-8 in the third period this season.

"We started good," center Alex Steen told the Maple Leafs' official Web site. "We had a couple big goals from Mats. It all comes down to the third period. We need to play a much, much better third period."

Poor special teams and undisciplined play have also contributed to Toronto's disappointing start. The Leafs are a dismal 5-for-45 on the power play and have been short-handed a league-high 61 times.

Making matters worse for the Leafs is the absence of rugged right wing Darcy Tucker, who is out indefinitely with ligament damage in his right knee.

"We don't know how extensive it is or how long it will take time-wise," Tucker said after receiving treatment Monday. "As of now, it's indefinite. Hopefully, I'll get a brace made and we'll see how it progresses from there."

Sundin has been a bright spot, ranking among the NHL leaders with 14 points. He has five goals and 21 assists in 24 career games against Atlanta, his last goal coming Jan. 30, 2003.

Two nights after recording their first win of the season, the Thrashers opened a seven-game road trip Saturday with a 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Toronto -158 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 6.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 85% of bets for this game have been placed on Toronto -158 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Ilya Kovalchuk and Brett Sterling scored for the defending Southeast Division champion Thrashers, who have been outscored 21-4 in losing all four road games.

Johan Hedberg allowed five goals on 24 shots over the first two periods Saturday before he was replaced by Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped five of six shots in his NHL debut.

"We hung Moose (Hedberg) out to dry a little bit," Thrashers general manager and interim coach Don Waddell said.

Hedberg has allowed two goals in each of his last three starts versus the Maple Leafs, and is 5-4-0 with a 2.80 GAA in nine career appearances against them.

Atlanta is off to its worst start since going winless in its first 10 games of the 2002-03 season.

The Leafs had won eight straight against the Thrashers before going 0-2-1 in the final three meetings last season. Toronto is 6-2-1 with one tie in its last 10 home games against Atlanta.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from theSpread.com

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

 

NHL Team Pages

Top NHL Public Bets

View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NHL Futures

NHL TEAM CUP FINALS ODDS CURRENT
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 13/2
LOS ANGELES KINGS 9/1
BOSTON BRUINS 10/1
ST LOUIS BLUES 12/1
ANAHEIM DUCKS 12/1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 12/1
SAN JOSE SHARKS 14/1
NEW YORK RANGERS 16/1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 16/1
MINNESOTA WILD 16/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com