January 2, 2017

NHL Hockey Betting: Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey Betting:  Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals&h=253&w=372&zc=1

The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing very well at the moment with a 6-2-2 record in their last ten games and enter this contest on a five game winning streak. They’ll need a strong performance as they’re facing last year’s President’s Trophy champions, the Washington Capitals. The Caps started the season in lackluster form but have turned it on of late and are up to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re now at the ‘tail end of the lead pack’ of teams which has Columbus atop the division with 56 points, Pittsburgh in second with 55 points, the Rangers in third with 53 points and Washington in fourth with 49 points. Washington is 6-2-2 in their last ten games and beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on New Year’s Day. The Maple Leafs won the ‘Centennial Classic’ outdoor game against the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day.

Braden Holtby is one of the real workhorses of the NHL and he’s starting to round into the same form that brought him the Vezina Trophy last year. Holtby is 16-8-4 with a 1.98 goals against average and a 0.929 save percentage with three shutouts. Toronto will start Frederick Andersen who might not boast the same numbers as Holtby but has been very solid this year with a 16-8-6 record along with a 2.52 goals against average and a 0.924 save percentage. Washington is injury free and that suggests that they might be due for a strong run over the next month or so. The Caps have won the last three games played at home and 5 of the last 7 against the Maple Leafs overall. The teams have played once so far this season with Toronto taking a 4-2 win on 11/26/16.

Toronto is becoming a very ‘tough out’. In addition to their current five game winning streak they’ve won 6 of 7 and have taken points in 8 of their last 9 games. Auston Matthews is already becoming a very dangerous player and is on pace to have a great rookie season. Mike Babcock has started pairing him against opposing team’s top line of late, a sign that the 2016 first overall pick is maturing as a player. We’ll take a shot on Toronto here.