Maple Leafs vs. Blackhawks Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Blackhawks are a -115 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Maple Leafs are a -105 underdog, while the total is set at 6 goals. As of Wednesday afternoon, 64 percent of public bets have come in on Chicago.
Toronto enters with a 26-18-4-1 record after a 4-2 home loss Monday against the Avalanche. Chicago is 22-19-5-1 following a 2-0 home loss Monday versus the Lightning. The Maple Leafs won the first meeting this season on their home ice by a score of 4-3 in overtime on Sept. 19. The Blackhawks are 2-1 in three meetings since the start of last season. The over is 2-1.
In the defeat versus Colorado, Patrick Marleau and Auston Matthews each scored a goal for Toronto. Frederik Andersen recorded 23 saves on 26 shots to take the loss. The Maple Leafs led 2-1 after the Matthews goal with 10:43 left in the second period, but the Avs scored three unanswered goals the rest of the way.
Chicago was paced by Patrick Sharp as he tallied a team-best five shots on goal in the shutout loss to Tampa Bay. Jeff Glass registered 29 saves on 31 shots in the defeat. The Lightning broke a scoreless tie with 2:46 left in the second period and added an insurance goal in the third.
The home team is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. Toronto is 0-7 in its last seven meetings in Chicago and 3-13 in the last 16 meetings overall.
Chicago couldn't get anything going offensively in a big showdown two nights ago with the Lightning. After failing to take down the NHL's best team, I see a letdown happening here. The Blackhawks are not the same team without injured Corey Crawford in net and against an explosive offense such as Toronto's, I believe Chicago will struggle to keep the puck out of its own net.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS -105